London fine-wine brokers Fine & Rare Wines are, bravely or foolishly, offering to take a civilian on their en primeur tasting trip to Bordeaux in early April this year.
All you have to do to win this prize is to send a single tasting note on a red bordeaux to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm this Friday 28 Jan.
I agreed to judge this competition before realising quite how easy they were making it to enter. I may need more than the allotted time next week to judge all the entries. Their spiel is reproduced below. The sort of sight the winner will have, that of Jean-Guillaume Prats describing the vintage at Cos d'Estournel (admittedly in the old, not Aman-like new, tasting room), is reproduced above.
How much do you know about wine? Ever dreamt about visiting the top chateaux in Bordeaux and tasting from barrel, with the winemakers themselves? Do you want to have your say on a Bordeaux vintage as soon as it is released, and get your ideas published?
FINE+RARE is holding a groundbreaking competition, judged by world-renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson MW [that's me]. The prize? An all-expenses paid trip with our team to Bordeaux in April 2011 to taste the 2010 vintage at all the top chateaux - before it's bottled. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to go behind the scenes during an En Primeurs Campaign.
Don't blame me if you win and then feel that you have not in fact been taken to 'all the top chateaux'. I don't suppose they have budgeted for a winner who lives in Seattle either. I'm only the judge. But there is already, needless to say, lots of predictably inflationary huffing and puffing from the Bordeaux wine trade about the quality of the 2010 vintage.