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Cheese & Juice Championship

January 22, 2011
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Last night marked the celebration of Kuwait CatClub’s first ever Wine & Juice night, kindly sponsored by Xalet Horn, who kindly donated a stunning range of prizes from a set of cut crystal wine glasses for first prize, to a small bottle of dettol for the winner of the wooden spoon.  Anticipation has been running high for this one, with people starting to prepare their beverages weeks, if not months, beforehand; and a record breaking 19 bottles were entered on the night.

A scoresheet with columns for scoring appearance, clarity, bouquet, taste and finish - each out of 5.

The carefully designed scoresheet for the truly honourable judges.

Twenty judges were carefully selected from amongsth those who turned up, and each judge was given a scoresheet, with 5 categories, for: Presentation, Colour, Bouquet, Palate and Finish.  These were all scored out of 5, so each entrant received a final score out of twenty five.  Once the judges had finished their business, their scores were entered onto a scoresheet and averaged out.  A very fair system, indeed, we believe!

I’d like to start by discussing the Presentation.  Now, our kindly hosts (Nigel and Steve – thank you, boys) had decided there was no need to sterilise plain bottles in order to have a blind tasting (which was lucky, as we wouldn’t have had enough bottles, since only half a dozen people had entered their drinks in advance); so we added this category in. AndI’m very glad we did, as some participants did a grand job!   Personally, I thought I’d outshine everyone in this category, due to the special labels I customise from a free online lable maker; but I was outdone in big style by Vicky, who dressed her bottle up as a Chinese maiden, complete with hat and kimono.  Her husband, Chris, spent the afteroon cutting out boats to stick to his bottle.  Christine gave her bottle a waistcoat, looking very smart indeed.

According to my careful research on Wikipedia, there are “four recognized stages to wine tasting:

After a brief briefing, the judges piled into the kitchen, and indulged in some very serious discussions about the entries.  Sadly, I couldn’t indulge, since I was due into hospital the following morning for an exploratory laparoscopy (that’s medical talk for keyhole surgery, by the way).  I’m fine by the way – had a few polyps cut out and got a few aches and pains now… But it seemed like those who were indulging were enjoying it!

So, to cut a long story short, since I’m running out of steam, the winners were as follows:

  1. Vicky (my student of juice making, see earlier blog ‘45 litres of Grape Juice‘)
  2. Kate (Me – Vicky’s teacher!!!!)
  3. Derron the Master of Beer Making

We had a fight, believe it or not, for the wooden spoon.  To be honest, I’d forgotten about it, until I asked if anyone else wanted to know the placement after I had given out the prizes, and Steve said yes.  I asked his number, and he said 7.  That reminded me about the wooden spoon, because number 7 came in at 19th.  But then, another entrant claimed he was seven, so I checked my list, and the winner of the wooden spoon (well, bottle of Dettol) was………… Stewart!!!  In case you’re not sure who Stewart is (since he tends to sail in the morning whilst we’re still in bed, and Stacy’s at school), you can see him in this video, taken at the Turkey Race Talent Show back in December 2010.

Anyway, I’d like to thank everyone for participating, it was a fun night, and hopefully we’ll do it again next year.  PS, I do have a photo of the bottles, but my tummy’s too sore to get out of bed and find the camera – so they’ll come later!

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