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Sir Cliff scoops a quintet of wine awards

Veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard is celebrating after winning five awards at a Portuguese wine competition judged by Michelin-starred sommeliers and international wine critics.

Richard scooped a quintet of gongs at the annual Concurso O Melhor Vinho Do Algarve 2011 awards in Faro last week, including Best Red from the Region for his 2009 Onda Nova Alicante Bouschet, and gold medals for his Onda Nova Verdelho 2010 and Vida Nova Rosé 2010.

The British crooner owns the 24 hectare Adega do Cantor (Cellar of the Singer), an estate in Albufeira in the Algarve, where he produces around 50,000 cases of wine a year under his Vida Nova brand.

A message on the singer’s website read: “Sir Cliff is very much involved in producing the wine. When in Portugal, he is often seen getting his hands dirty in the vineyard.”

In 2006, Sir Cliff was duped into slamming his own wine as “tainted and insipid” on chef Gordon Ramsay’s The F-Word.

Appearing as a guest on the TV programme, during recording, Ramsay gave Richard two wines to taste blind. The first he pronounced “amazing”, to which Ramsay said: “Of course, it was a £400 bottle.”

Of the second wine – his own Vida Nova, he said, “That’s rubbish. I wouldn’t pay for that, it’s tainted, it’s insipid. It tastes like vinaigrette. I’d never buy that.”

A triumphant Ramsay revealed that the singer had just rubbished his own wine.

“He couldn’t even identify his own wine. We are now using it for vinaigrette at Claridges. It’s going down tremendously well with the tuna,” Ramsay allegedly boasted at the time.

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