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First Glass Wine Options 2012

By July 4, 2011No Comments

No, it’s not a typo! Start thinking about next year’s wine options game – the annual First Glass Wine Options event run by Kingsley Wood. Next June will see the 30th consecutive competition run by New Zealand’s ‘Mr Wine Options’ and it is sure to be a special one.

The wine options game has been responsible for the passion and expertise that many of this country’s wine lovers and a large number of wine industry’s personnel possess. I am one of those people, becoming addicted to learning about and tasting as many wines that I could, so that when it came time for playing wine options, I could perform with credit and credibility. When Kingsley Wood of the innovative Wilson Neill wine merchant business began running the game in the early 1980s, our group of Dunedin wine lovers entered into the ‘spirit’ of things, supporting the Dunedin head-quartered company, to take on the wine professionals of Auckland and the rest of the North Island. We were successful, with one of the teams, the ‘Dunedin Winelovers No.2′ consisting of Kay Morganty, Dave Pilgrim, Mike Frawley and Norman Chan taking the national champion title. The Dunedin teams from then on performed extremely well, surprising many highly respected winemakers and judges, leaving them in their wake over the ensuing decade.

Following a time away from the game, I re-entered the wine options arena in 2000, and the group I joined enjoyed considerable success, earning national and Australasian titles on several occasions. One of the most noticeable differences was the incredible expertise by a great deal of people from all walks of life, and from all over the country. Kingsley’s efforts had an amazing effect of lifting the standards of wine appreciation and identification for many people. The competition was much greater!

2012 will mark 30 years of wine options run by Kingsley Wood. To sustain such interest in the game for so long is a reflection of Kingsley’s smooth and efficient running of the game and significantly, his infectious enthusiasm for fun and special interaction with the participants. It is fair to say that the game has contributed to his stature and respect in the wine industry in New Zealand.

I have it on good authority that next year’s wine options will be a bit of a reunion and nostalgia trip for many who have participated since 1982. I’m going to call up as many of the old Dunedin crew to attend. And I think I’ll have a good hit rate with my fellow team members of late. It looks like we’ll be making a wine options date for June 2012.
2011 First Glass Wine Options – Results
Here is a summary of the results of the 2011 First Glass Wine Options, conducted by Kingsley Wood, at the Crowne Plaza, on Sunday 26 June. 37 teams competed.
1st – The Rat Pack – Al Barino, Sam Giovese, Marilyn Merlot and Cher Donnay – Team members Lee and Niv Findlay, and Malcolm and Penny Meads. 159 points out of a maximum of 196
2nd – Last Minute Charlie – Team members Nicky Grandorge, Simon Humphries, Elle Pitts and Tim Mills. 155 points
3rd – Dyslexic Drinkers – We’re on a mission from Dog! Team members Bill Hird, Tricia Dunlop, Kay Morganty and Sam Kim. 151 points
4th (and winning the winejobsonline.com Trophy for wine trade teams) was The Big Bad Wolf & Three Squealing Pigs. Team members Rowan Hall, Lisa Powell, Lizzie Grisdale and Damian Archibald represented Treasury Wine Estates.
Wines Served
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Keltern’ Chardonnay 2007 (Hawke’s Bay, N.Z.)
Taylors ‘St Andrews’ Clare Valley Riesling 2005 (South Australia)
Albert Mann Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2009 (Alsace, France)
Forrest Botrytis Riesling 2009 (Marlborough, N.Z.)
Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Syrah 2007(Hawke’s Bay, N.Z.)
Lamont Bendigo Pinot Noir 2007 (Central Otago, N.Z.)
Alpha Zeta Amarone 2007 (Italy)
Saltrams No. 1 Barossa Shiraz 2006 (South Australia)
Bonus Wines
Church Road Reserve Viognier 2009 (Hawke’s Bay)
Peter Lehmann ‘Margaret’ Semillon 2003 (South Australia)
Kaazpicht Pinotage 2007 (South Africa)
Wolf Blass ‘Grey Label’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (South Australia)

For a full run-down of the game with comprehensive results and photos, visit www.first-glass.co.nz/options11.htm


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