The Palate wine tasting competition, run by UK retail chain Oddbins, is expected to attract up to 25,000 entrants when it opens later this month, organisers say.
The first rounds beginning the search for the UK’s best amateur wine taster will take place in 35 Oddbins branches over the next two weekends as well as various wine and food fairs in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cheltenham.
The competition, open to anyone over the age of 18 with no prior experience of knowledge of wine necessary, will feature blind tastings and simple questions about each wine.
The panel of judges features Masters of Wine Peter Richards and Susie Barrie, joined this year by wine writers Sarah Ahmed and Joe Wadsack.
Each judge will host their own boot camp for 16 semi-finalists before selecting four to go forward to the final in September.
Speaking about the competition, Susie Barrie MW said; ‘The Palate is wine’s answer to ‘The Voice’. It’s a brilliant way for everyone in the country to give wine tasting a go and discover just how good their own palate is.’
Ayo Akintola, Managing Director of Oddbins, said: ‘We are committed to making wine appreciation as unstuffy, approachable and democratic as possible. Last year’s finalists, most of whom were incredibly surprised to discover they had a talent for wine appreciation, came from a very diverse range of backgrounds.’
The 2014 winner will receive a trip for two to visit some of Australia’s finest vineyards.
Written by Georgina Hindle