Behind the scenes as a wine judge


Australian wine competitions are a notorious proving ground for the wine industry. For producers, they offer the opportunity of winning trophies for their wines, which in some cases can result in a meteoric boost to sales figures. For wine professionals, competitions offer the chance to test our tasting mettle alongside some of the world’s most unforgiving palates.

Last month, I joined the National Wine Show of Australia in Canberra as one of two international judges drafted in to provide an alternative opinion to the otherwise all-Australian team. That’s a bit like asking a gazelle to advise a pride of lions...