What is The Palate?
This Saturday (September 26th) witnessed the coronation of Phil Hedderman – the fourth winner of The Palate, Oddbins’ annual search for the UK’s finest amateur wine taster.
Gathering at an unseasonable time in the morning at the trendy splendour of The Hoxton hotel, Holborn, our 12 Finalists looked, quite honestly, terrified. Sipping coffee (or avoiding it for the sake of their palate), what awaited them was a full-on day of grilling by three of the foremost wine experts in the country. From aroma tests to wine region anagrams and grape identification, Peter Richards MW, Susie Barrie MW and wine educator Sarah Ahmed put our Finalists through their paces – and they showed true mettle.
The judges said that what set Phil – a regular of Oddbins Crouch End Broadway – apart from the pack was his raw tasting talent, as well as his wine knowledge, but nobody could have looked more surprised to be crowned The Palate 2015 than Phil.
Scooping the unbelievably good prize of a trip to The Winery of Good Hope in South Africa, a magnum of Laurent Perrier NV and the prestige of being crowned The Palate, Phil walked away a very happy bunny! In second place was the very hyper and very lovely Mark Hunter who, promptly after being awarded his prize of a long weekend to Tenuta Chiccheri, shouted in relief “That was bloomin' stressful!” What can we say… With Laurent Perrier’s prize of a day course at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, was Claire Richardson and, with the last-minute additional prize of £300 of Oddbins vouchers, was the lovely Cate Gregory.
For a full list of the wines that were tried both at The Palate Semi Final and Final, click here