The 30th and final large scale Wine Options competition in New Zealand, if not the world, run by Kingsley Wood of First Glass Wines & Spirits, Takapuna, Auckland, will be conducted on Sunday 1 July 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland. Kingsley has run the world’s largest and continuous Wine Options competition since 1983, and has decided this will be his last year.
The competition has proved to be the catalyst for thousands of people learning more about wine, and many of the people who have taken part are winemakers or are involved in the wine industry. Indeed, many people have decided to make their careers in wine because of Wine Options.
The first national final was held in Christchurch in 1983, and won by the ‘Dunedin Wine Lovers No.2′ team, with Kay Morganty, Dave Pilgrim, Norman Chan and Mike Frawley. (I was in the ‘No. 1′ team, well beaten by them!) Kay Morganty still competes in Wine Options and has missed only one event, and been in the winning team 6 times.
The competition began under the auspices of ‘Wilson Neill’, and it changed in 1990 to the ‘Liquorland Wine Options’, then becoming the ‘First Glass Options’ in 2001. The largest event was in 1991 in Auckland when 101 teams participated. The average number nowadays is 50 teams. The format has changed considerably over the years from a ‘no talking’ classroom format to full team participation’ in a far more relaxed and enjoyable occasion.
This will be a nostalgia-filled event for any person who has competed in Kingsley Wood’s Wine Options over the years. For the uninitiated, it may be the last chance to experience one of the most influential consumer wine events we have seen in New Zealand over the last quarter of a century and more. It’s easy – form a team of four, and answer multi-choice questions posed by Kingsley Wood about each wine served!
Basic details are posted on my ‘Wine Focussed Events of Note’ page (click here). For more information, contact: