Very, very many thanks to all of you who have contributed to our new Your views section with your extremely useful tasting notes and reviews of hotels, restaurants, bars and wine and food stores. I'm sure this will build into a wonderfully personal resource (which can be sorted various ways by clicking on the headings along the top of the list).
I woke up this morning to an email from a purple pager in Colorado who had written just before midnight London time, cut-off point for the Your Views Competition and its prize of a weekend wine tour of the Languedoc in early October, saying they couldn't wait to find out who had won. Apologies for keeping you on tenterhooks for two more hours, but I wanted to do a thorough survey of all the contributions so far before announcing our winner.
I must first of all thank David Stewart of London (albeit with a Cambridge email address) who is definitely our runner up for all his contributions. He seems to have spent quite a bit of time in Davy's wine bars in order to file all those tasting notes on Davy's own bottlings, as well as sharing his thoughts on a couple of London restaurants. They are all much appreciated, but I felt that since the Davy's wines can be found only by those living in and around London, they didn't qualify as being quite so 'valuable' (the word I used when describing the competition's principal criterion) as our winner's tasting notes which covered fewer wines in total but comprised a useful range of maturing wines that wine lovers anywhere in the world are likely to come across.
This is not to say that I value tasting notes above reviews of restaurants and so on, not at all, but I cannot help observing that so far the tasting notes section has attracted most interest and it is therefore not surprising that our winner of the Languedoc wine tour weekend at Château Ventenac in the Minervois, guided by Master of Wine Juliet Brice Jones, is someone who I feel has made the most valuable contributions to the tasting notes section so far: Jean Louis Le Guil of Andorra.
I had to look up the membership records to discover where he is based, and now that I see he is only a couple of hours drive away from Château Ventenac, I am glad that I didn't offer to throw in a flight too.
Let us hope that he has a thoroughly good time and that he might report back on the experience.
And please, all purple pagers, wherever you are, do keep sharing your opinions in this new section. I will be making one or two refinements to the forms to be filled in with reviews and tasting notes, such as (unless the majority of you object) asking that everyone scores out of 20 so that we can compare scores easily. Thank you so much.