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£20,000 wine and the Judgement of Paris at The Vineyard, Newbury

Halfway through our meal at The Vineyard, Newbury, I was beginning to wonder if I knew as much about wine as I thought I did. Not only could I not guess what grape variety I was drinking or what country it came from, I couldn’t even work out what colour it was, this particular wine being served in a black glass which made the wine inside completely invisible. Was it rosé…? Or maybe it was red? No, it was definitely rosé.

The answer was white. This was worrying. If my judgement was all over the place now, what on earth would it be like after I’d tried all 14 wines scheduled for the evening? Thankfully by the end of the meal I was so replete and content that I my success or otherwise in identifying the wines no longer seemed important – the evening had been so interesting and memorable that my lack of wine knowledge could be safely overlooked.

The Vineyard, Newbury
The Vineyard, Newbury, site of a nightly recreation of the Judgement of Paris wine-tasting

The Vineyard is a hotel serious about its wine – it hosts wine-tastings and wine courses and has 30,000 bottles in its cellars. Its ‘Judgement of Paris’ wine-tasting aims to replicate the notorious (for wine buffs) event in 1974 when Californian wines went up against French wines in a blind tasting.

To the shock of the French, and indeed much of the wine world, the Californian wines won the day, and Sir Peter Michael, owner of the Vineyard as well as a winery in California, has recreated the experience at his hotel. Continue reading £20,000 wine and the Judgement of Paris at The Vineyard, Newbury