IWSC food matching competition gets underway

Judging took place this week on a new consumer-focused initiative set up within the International Wine & Spirits Competition Group, entitled What Food What Wine?

iwsc.jpgHeadlined by husband and wife team Peter Richards MW and Susie Barrie MW, together with food writer and presenter Jo Pratt, the competition sees judges select the best wine matches for 10 classic British dishes.

The judging panel included some of the UK’s most respected food and wine experts, including Gerard Basset MS MW, owner of Hotel Terravina; Fiona Beckett, wine columnist for The Guardian, Ronan Sayburn MS, director of wines and spirits for the Hotel du Vin Group; Sarah Jane Evans MW, wine editor of BBC Good Food magazine; Christine Parkinson, wine buyer for Hakkasan and Xanthe Clay, food columnist for The Daily Telegraph.

The 10 dishes chosen to form the base for What Food What Wine? were: smoked salmon, mature cheddar, fish and chips, chicken tikka masala, mushroom risotto, bangers and mash with gravy, lasagna, roast lamb, apple crumble with custard and a rich chocolate mousse.

Each recipe was created by Pratt with home cooks in mind, and is available to download from the competition website, www.whatfoodwhatwine.com.

The judges tasted all wines blind, with the only information being whether they had a retail price of above or below £10, a price point designed to distinguish between an “everyday bottle” or a “special purchase.”

Noting the success of the food and wine matching trophies introduced as part of IWSC Hong Kong, competition director Frances Horder explained: “We wanted to do something similar in the UK. It didn’t really fit with the IWSC brand so we decided to start something new.”

Setting What Food What Wine? apart from the IWSC, Horder emphasised: “This is focused on the consumer, trying to help them choose wines to go with dishes that they eat on a day to day basis.”

The results of the competition will be released at the end of July, with trophy winners promoted via a multimedia trade programme as well as both national and regional consumer press.

Click here for an interview with Peter Richards MW during the judging.

Gabriel Savage, 29.06.2011

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