Well, the RATS vs VATS winetasting evening has come and gone. The tasting was attended by 27 RATS and 23 VATS and was presided over by Geoff Carter.

Geoff tested our blind-tasting skills with 8 South African single-varietal wines (4 white, 4 red), including one wicked curveball, a 2000 Malbec which no-one got correct!

The wines presented follow:
Rupert and Rothschild Baronness Nadine Chardonnay 1998
Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Groote Post Chenin Blanc 2001
Villiera Rhine Riesling 2001
Bushman’s Creek Shiraz 1998
Ashanti Malbec 2000
Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2000
L’Avenir Pinotage 2000

On paper the tasting looks quite straight forward, but the reds had many people well confused, as did the older Chardonnay. As mentioned, not one person got the Malbec correct.

Prizes were awarded for the best “novice” taster, as well as for the best overall taster and the winning club.

And the prizes went to …

Top Novice (and tie 2nd highest score of the evening) went to Yves Du Bois of Cellar Rats with a brilliant score of 58 from a possible 80.

Top Taster went (eventually!) to myself with 66/80.

And the one result that we were all waiting for …. Top Club, with a score of 512 vs 477, went to CELLAR RATS … for the 4th consecutive year!

Cellar Rats top 10 tasters were : (scores between 38 and 66)

1. Terry Odgers
2. Yves du Bois
3. Debbie McCormick
4. Shelley de Beer
5. Alexandra McConville
6. Tim Jackson
7. Sarah Newton
8. Ian Grant
9. Jeanette Gombert
10. Claire Grant/Julia Jackson (tied on the tiebreak as well)

What was really satisfying to see was that, of the top ten tasters, all but one (Alex) had attended the practice tasting – Maybe practice DOES make perfect?

As always, this tasting evening was a lot of fun and it’s continued success can only be ascribed to the good sportsmanship which both teams exhibit.

It was wonderful to host the event at our venue this year and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all who attended when I say we all look forward to next years tasting evening to be hosted by VATS!

Thanks to the committee members (of both clubs) for the hard work and effort they put in to make this the success it was. Thanks also to Alex for her extra effort on color coding the score sheets and to Ian for standing in the cold and cooking 90 burgers while the rest of us drank in the (relative) warmth of the clubhouse. Thanks all!

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