The SWA Chronicle

Drinks: Wines

Champenois suffer collective seizure
Doctors in Reims have blamed results in the sparkling wine categories of the Sommelier Wine Awards 2012 for a sudden surge in heart attacks across the Champagne region in May and June.
The appellation has long ceased to be competitive in the ‘under £14’ section, but this year’s performance fell short in the once-crucial £14-£20 category, too. 

‘To see two of the four places on the Gold List go to an English wine and a sparkling Aussie Shiraz was more than their hearts could take,’ said Roger Boncoeur of the Reims cardiology unit.
‘Champagne looks strong, but you have to remember that it’s very old, and it’s hard work carrying around that ego all the time.’ 

There were, fortunately, no fatalities, with most of the traumatised producers soon back on their feet with the help of a comforting tweed blanket, a shot of vin clair, and a good set of results over £20.
‘We will be back next year,’ said one confident producer, ‘and we will dominate once more, because, as Tina Turner put it, we’re simply the best.’

IN A NUTSHELL: Champagne is no longer dominant in fizz category.

Police warn parents of dangers of ‘Sav’
Police are warning of a new drug that threatens to engulf the high street. Sauvignon – or ‘Sav’ as it’s known by the people who grow it – is an aromatic drug with an addictive pyrazine character that makes consumers irrationally part with their cash.

‘This stuff is everywhere. Walk past any wine bar in the UK and you can smell that trademark gooseberry character,’ said a police spokesman. ‘But people just don’t realise how bad a lot of this Sav really is.’

These warnings were backed up by independent testers at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2012, a competition that found itself awash with Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire, and across the New World, earlier this year.

‘There were millions of them,’ said one tester. ‘Most were rotten – and expensive, too. It took me weeks to get the smell of cut grass and passion fruit out of my hair.’

IN A NUTSHELL: Lots of Sauvignon Blanc this year; most of it poor and expensive.

Rosé ‘to blame for everything’
Ill-health, economic turmoil and 21st-century unhappiness could all be put down to rosé, according to a shock report commissioned by the Daily Badnews.

‘We don’t think it’s an accident that the rise in pink wine consumption has coincided with the global economic crisis,’ said Mr B Liar, lecturer in Irrelevant Statistics at the University of Paranoia. ‘And a lot of people who die of cancer have drunk rosé at least once.’

These findings were partially backed up by results at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2012. ‘A lot of the rosés were filthy,’ said one taster. ‘We found only a handful of Golds from scores of entries. I’m not sure it gives you cancer, though.’

‘I don’t trust rosé,’ said Mrs Edna Shattock from Penge. ‘I’m sure it stole my wheelie bin.’

IN A NUTSHELL: Lots of rosé submitted; most of it horrid! Pick with care.

Great Gruner ‘not extinct’
Naturalists were celebrating last night, following the sighting of some of the rarest wines on the planet appearing in a little gold book. Observers hid among the Sommelier Wine Awards results for weeks, and were rewarded with glimpses of Golds for a Grüner Veltliner and three English wines.

‘It’s quite amazing,’ said gorilla-botherer-in-chief, Rabid Attenborough. ‘We’ve waited years to find a Grüner Gold – we were beginning to wonder whether they still existed. And to discover not one, but three great English wines is fabulous news. It means they must have a breeding colony somewhere. So hopefully we’ll see more of them in the years to come.’

IN A NUTSHELL: First ever SWA Golds for Grüner Veltliner and England.


Spain triumphs in Euro thriller
After four weeks of intensely competitive tournament football, Spain lifted the Top European prize at this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards competition in Poland and the Ukraine (Are you completely sure about this? I thought it was in Bermondsey? – Ed).

From the early group stages, Spain looked composed and compact, passing its fruit around with composure, and showing a neat mix of international and home-grown talent at great prices. It dispensed with the classy but expensive Italians in the semis, before narrowly squeaking past the French in the finals.

At first, the elegant French midfield of Bordeaux and Burgundy, solidly supported by the muscular Rhône at the back, seemed to have the measure of its Iberian opponents. But gradually the Spanish producers began to assert themselves, with their distinctive taca-taca brand of winemaking, which is capable of producing threatening moves from all areas of the country.

‘At the end of the day, they managed to produce lovely, characterful wines at great prices, which is what it’s all about at this level,’ said pundit Marco Loureiroson. ‘I bet they’re over the moon.’
In a nutshell: Spain was the most exciting (and best-value)
country at this year’s SWA. Olé!

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Since its launch in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has established itself as the UK’s leading publication for on-trade drinks professionals. Imbibe’s editorial coverage takes in all the main drinks categories, from wine to water, spirits to soft drinks.

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