over 50 blind tastings
In 1984, Charles Metcalfe and I set up a small blind tasting of 50 or so wines from around the world for a feature in Wine International Magazine and called it the "International Wine Challenge". That spawned an annual competition which grew to become the largest and most influential in the world with 10,000 entries.
My experience organising and chairing that event led to my being invited to help set up the first Cellars in the Sky competition for Business Traveller Magazine and Chile Wine Export Awards and to judge at almost all of the major wine competitions in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the Dallas Morning News Competition and contests across Europe.
Other competitions I have chaired include the Tri-Nations Wine Challenge (now expanded to Five Nations), the Swiss International Wine awards in South Africa and International Wine Challenges in China (Beijing and Shanghai), Hong Kong, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. A particular honour was being asked to chair the Adelaide Hills Wine Show, probably making me the first non-Australian to chair a wine show in that country.
The pressure of my other commitments has led me to almost call a halt to wine judging, but I remain a director and keen participant in Mundus Vini.