Swedish team wins Blind Tasting World Championship

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With 115 points the Swedish team won the “Blind Tasting World Championship” with an 8 points margin to the silver medallist United Kingdom with 107 points and the number three, Luxembourg with 100. The competition is a team competition with teams of four, organized by the French magazine La Revue du Vin de France. 24 teams participated from all corners of the world.

The Swedish four-headed team consisted of representatives from the wine tasting club Munskänkarna from Piteå and Trollhättan: Torgny Almgren, Jerker Delsing, Richard Granberg and Ulf Palmnäs, plus their coach Mats Burnert. “They got 115 points, an impressive result. Last year, the Chinese [then the winning team] had 108,” noted Philippe de Cantenac, responsible for the organisation of the competition. It is the fifth time the competition took place.

The competition is about identifying 12 wines tasted blind, six whites and six reds. The teams must try and identify the dominant grape variety, country of origin, district, producer and vintage of each wine. They have ten minutes per wine. Maximum number of points is 300, which clearly illustrates the difficulty of identifying wines blind: reaching 115 points, like the winning team did, is a big achievement. “We did just as well with the white as with the red wines. For 6 of the wines we were correct on the grape, on 2 of the wines we had 20 points and on one wine we had 23 points,” said Jerker Delsing, one of the participants in the Swedish team.

World champions in blind tasting
World champions in blind tasting, photo: Kristina Berggren

World champions from left to right: Jerker Delsing (Piteå), Richard Granberg (Piteå) Mats Burnert (coach), Torgny Almgren (Trollhättan) and Ulf Palmnäs (Trollhättan).

Here are the twelve wines in the competition:

White wines:

Wine number 1:

Main grape variety: chasselas

Country: Switzerland

Appellation/region: Fendant Fully

Producer: Cave des Amandiers

Vintage: 2014

Wine number 2:

Main grape variety: vermentino (rolle)

Country: France

Appellation/region: Bellet (Provence)

Producer: Clos Saint Vincent

Vintage: 2016

Wine number 3:

Main grape variety: riesling

Country: Germany

Appellation/region: Sonnenberg Pfalz

Producer: Fredrich Becker

Vintage:  2011

Wine number 4:

Main grape variety: chenin

Country: South Africa

Appellation/region: Stellenbosch

Producer: Ken Forrester, FMC

Vintage: 2014

Wine number 5:

Main grape variety: chardonnay

Country: France

Appellation/region: Puligny Montrachet

Producer: Boisset Les Trezins

Vintage: 2015

Wine number 6:

Main grape variety: garganega

Country: Italy

Appellation/region: Soave

Producer: Gini

Vintage: 2013

Red wines:

Wine number 7:

Main grape variety: nebbiolo

Country: Mexico

Appellation/region: Baja California

Producer: La Cetto

Vintage: 2012

Wine number 8:

Main grape variety: cabernet sauvignon 57 %, syrah 30 %

Country: Lebanon


Producer: Chateau Kefraya

Vintage: 2012

Wine number 9:

Main grape variety: grenache 60 %, syrah 40 %

Country: France

Appellation/region: Vacqueyras

Producer: Domaine de la Fourmone

Vintage: 2014

Wine number 10:

Main grape variety: grenache

Country: Spain

Appellation/region: Rioja

Producer: Remondo Palacios Propiedad

Vintage: 2010

Wine number 11:

Main grape variety: merlot 30 %, cabernet sauvignon 35 %, cabernet franc 35 %

Country: France

Appellation/region: Saint Emilion

Producer: Chateau Figeac

Vintage: 2009

Wine number 12:

Main grape variety: touriga nacional, touriga franca, tinta cão, tinta francisca, tinta amarela, sousão, tinta roriz

Country: Portugal

Appellation/region: port

Producer: Dirk Niepoort

Vintage: 1987

A wine list filled with pitfalls!

“It was extremely difficult. Some of the wines in the competition do not even have access to in Sweden. Then it’s hard to identify them correctly, but somehow we succeeded. It was hard for everyone,” said Jerker Delsing after the competition.

In a monopoly market like Sweden this is understandable, not to say self-evident, that many of the wines that were included in the competition are not available; the range of wines is naturally limited with a monopoly. Which if anything makes the Swedish team’s performance even more impressive.

We can only say a big congratulations to the winners! And also to all the others who competed well and certainly had a lot of fun on the way.

You can read the entire ranking of the teams in the article on RVF: La Suède sacrée championne du monde de dégustation à l’aveugle.

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