Last week's Wine Options evening was a huge, over-subscribed success which, thanks to ticket sales and auctions both silent and extremely noisy, thanks to my co-host Willie Lebus (pictured here apparently crooning with me), raised a massive £22,500 for Wine Relief. This was great timing considering the African focus of current affairs, since Wine Relief is the wine fundraising arm of Comic Relief which has done so much to make tens of thousands of African lives better over the last 10 years. (They support things on a carefully-monitored project-by-project basis and every pound raised goes straight to these projects, not to overheads which are financed in other ways.)
Thanks to the brilliance of IML (www.iml.co.uk) and their rapid keypad response monitoring, we raced through four whites and four reds served blind to the 46 tables of four contestants in the airy hall of the Royal Institute of British Architects, each with four multiple-choice questions attached. The participants were a mixture of wine professionals and keen amateurs and standards of guesses - sorry, perceptive observations - were high. Winners were, suspiciously, a team which included Ben Collins of Bibendum Wine Ltd, and Wine Relief.