As the last week before Christmas was ticking along and everyone was getting tired and at times a little ratty I thought it would be a good idea to do some research….what is the ranking of the great regions and countries amongst the team here. To discover this I took a cross-section which included all the private customer and trade sales people (10 in total – 9 male, 1 female), the “3 Marketeers” (all female) and the buying team (8 – 2 male, 6 female). Then asked them to……”Please rate the regions/countries in each of the sections below (Red, White and Other). Please do them as three separate sections scoring your favorite 1 and going down the list from there”.

Yes, yes you can argue there should be a sweet Loire and a white French region section and what about Switzerland and Rose in general but I can’t keep everyone happy…..One other important point it that this was asking for peoples overall wine preferences NOT a reflection on the wine C&B has in the categories etc

Reds
Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Loire, French Regional, Italy, Spain, Portugal, USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile

Whites
Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, Alsace, Loire, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Chile

Others
Port, Madeira, Sherry, Tokaji, Sauternes, Sweet Alsace and Champagne

And now for the results……..

Reds in Order
Burgundy
Bordeaux
Italy
Rhone
Spain
Argentina
New Zealand
French Regional
Portugal
Australia
USA
Loire
Chile
South Africa

Burgundy averaged a score of 1.9 with 11 people voted it number 1. Bordeaux averaged a score of 3.1 with 4 people voting it number 1. Italy, Rhone and Spain was possibly the most competitive area and there wasn’t much between them at all, scores varied widely. From there we had the (predictably?) top two new world countries which to me were no surprise…New Zealand showing rare(?) elegance for the new World and Argentina’s brilliant “Old vine” fruit showing well. The rest indisputably produce some great wines but may be the style (Australia?) and possibly price (USA?) have an effect on their popularity. Overall pretty predictable.

Whites
Burgundy
Germany
Alsace
Loire
Rhone
New Zealand
Italy
Bordeaux
Spain
Australia
Austria
Chile
USA
South Africa

Burgundy (averaging 1.52) first the rest NOWHERE…only 6 of the 21 managed not to give Burgundy the nod here (and they all ranked it – 3,3,4,2,3,2). I suppose the dominance should not be a surprise but given there are people and some merchants too with a real fear for this category I was delighted to see this. Germany just beat Alsace by 2 points (interesting as our Alsace and German rages are quite limited, I don’t think this is or would be rare in the wine world) and then the next 5 countries were a smidge apart, from there we are into countries that really produce red but do a bit of white on the side…one common thread is that the countries more renowned for oaked wines seem to feature more lowly. Poor old South Africa again bottom…may be the test series (they are 59/6 as I write this) and the last Lions tour make for some prejudice??

Others
Champagne
Sauternes
Sherry
Port
Sweet Alsace
Tokaji
Madeira

This was always going to be the most contentious category with a certain lack of logic as some are Aperitifs and some Afterdinner and some both! Interestingly neither Sauternes or Tokaji got anyone’s vote as favourite which is especially weird given that Sauternes came second in the category. I take Madeira coming last as a personal challenge…if there is a better value drink out there then what is it?

I can’t go without a mention of the living legend that is Kauto Star…what a great run in the King George and when you combine that with Barneveld’s 9-darter at the Ally Pally last night you have sporting gold…..anyway need to keep an eye on the racing results….Menorah, Go Native and What a Friend have made it a decent punting Christmas….just need Diamond Harry to do his thing now! Have a great New Year.

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