Deadline looming for Sparkling Wine Review

The deadline for entries and samples for the new benchmarking initiative for sparkling wine is looming, according to the organiser.

Entries and samples for the Sparkling Wine Event have to be in by October 22, says Mike Florence, who was general manager of the International Wine Challenge for 10 years, before getting involved with the International Sparkling Wine Symposium and now the Review.

The new initiative involves blind tasting, technical analysis, assessment of packaging, perceived value for money, suitability for the key UK market, recommendations to improve quality, opinions on longevity were applicable and a score out of 100.

The organisers comprise: Litmus Wines which is master of wine Sam Harrop, who was a wine buyer for the UK retailer Marks & Spencer and forged the Loire export Protocol, Australian winemaker John Worontschak and Florence; wine writer Jamie Goode who has a PHD in plant biology and has written a book on the science of wine and Proven Communication, which boasts some champagne houses among its clients.

Also involved are: Jean-Marc Sauboua, Direct Wines head of winemaking, production and development who is a co-chairman along with Goode, Harrop and Worontschak. Other judges include: champagne writer Peter Liem, Pierre-Yves Bournerias, of the Institute Oenologique de Champagne (IOC), Graham Beck Cap Classique cellar master Pieter Ferreira and Dee Blackstock MW who buys sparkling wines for UK multiple retailer Waitrose.

The judging takes place on November 9 and 10 at the Denbies vineyard complex in Surrey, south west of London. Entries are assessed and a report, comprising of about two pages is issued to each entrant. The reports are published on the website,, unless companies opt for confidentiality.

Successful wines will also be showcased at next year’s International Sparkling Wine Symposium which is scheduled to take place at Codorniu near Barcelona between June 16 and 17.

For more information go to the website, or contact Mike Florence on: +44 (0)20 7164 2113.