The city’s top sommeliers, restaurateurs and vintners gathered at Hotel du Vin on Thursday 5 September for Make Your Case, the opening event of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival ‘Autumn Harvest’.
This ever-popular event is a festival favourite, and sees each of the presenters have three minutes to showcase their chosen wine whilst the audience tastes it blind and scores it out of ten.
The twist is that the presenter can’t mention the grape variety, price or country of origin.
The wines and presenters on the night included:
La Peut de Chavigny (France) presented by Simon Broad from Ten Green Bottles
Rio Sol (Brazil) presented by Lucy Robinson from Booker
Adobe Reserve (Chile) presented by Kate Alleston from Graze
La Closerie (France) presented by Andrew Kay from Latest 7
Blackdown Vermouth (Sussex) presented by Sarah Thompson from Lurgashall Vineyard
De Loach (California) presented by Henry Butler from Butlers Wine Cellar
Close de Trias (France) presented by Terrie Karsianczuk from Plumpton College
Botham Merrill Willis (Australia) presented by Martina Pawliczek from Hotel du Vin
Prieure de Cenac (France) presented by Olivia Reed from Terre á Terre
“Make Your Case is one of my personal favourite festival events”, said festival director Nick Mosley. “The ethos of the festival is to make good and local food and drink accessible to everyone, and at this event we aim to demystify wine tasting and make it fun”.
Over the course of the evening an auction was held to raise money for Rockinghorse, one of the festival’s two chosen charities. Prizes included an overnight stay with dinner at Amberley Castle, afternoon tea at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, dinners at Graze, Hotel du Vin and Terre á Terre, and private wine tastings at Butlers and Ten Green Bottles. A grand total of £1,000 was raised, which will go to help sick children in Sussex.
At the end of the evening, the scores were tallied up and the presenting panel chose La Closerie – a sparkling créme de la crémant from France – presented by Andrew Kay, whilst the audience’s winner was the Botham Merrill Willis cabernet sauvignon from Australia, presented by Hotel du Vin’s assistant sommelier, Martina Pawliczek.
“Thursday was another great festival night, and we’re all very proud that Martina picked up the trophy for her wine and presentation”, said Simon Maguire general manager of Hotel du Vin Brighton.