Varsity blind wine tasting match

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The Varsity Blind Wine Tasting Match is an annual competition in blind wine tasting between the blind tasting teams of the Oxford University Blind Wine Tasting Society and the Cambridge University Blind Wine Tasting Society which has run since 1953. It is sponsored by Champagne house Pol Roger and the current convenor is James Simpson, Master of Wine (MW).

The winning team wins a trip to Épernay, France, to visit the vineyards of Pol Roger and compete in an international tasting match against a French university, plus a bottle of vintage Pol Roger each. The taster with the highest individual score wins a bottle of Pol Roger's top cuvee, Sir Winston Churchill. The reserve taster with the higher score wins a subscription to Decanter Magazine. The losing team each wins a bottle of Non Vintage Pol Roger.


Wine expert Hugh Johnson judging during the 2003 competition.

There are two judges, one nominated by each team. In 2008 and 2009, the Oxford judge was Jancis Robinson MW, and the Cambridge judge was Hugh Johnson. Past judges have included Jasper Morris MW (who also judged in 2014). The papers are marked anonymously and cross-checked by both judges in order to ensure impartiality.


Team Overall Competition

Cambridge (24 victories in total) including: 1994, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014

Oxford (40 victories in total) including: 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017

Top Individual Tasters

2009: Caroline Conner (Ox)

2010: James Flewellen (Ox)

2011: James Flewellen (Ox), 152 points

2012: Ren Lim (Ox)

2013: Tom Arnold (Ox) and Stefan Kuppen (Cam), 140 points [joint]

2014: Vaiva Imbrasaite (Cam), 195 points

2015: Swii Yii Lim and Yee Chuin Lim (both Ox) [joint]

2016: Qian (Janice) Wang (Ox), 173 points

2017: Jit Hang (Jackie) Ang (Ox), 143 points


External links[edit]