Bob Campbell gave an informative and very entertaining talk at Corellis on Friday morning 22nd March. He started with his early days as an accountant and moved on through the early wine writer days which included an interesting description of his tasting of pre-auction wines in London. The wines tasted were the 4 first growth Bordeaux from the 1929 vintage and tasted awful (stale cigars, trench like characters etc.) and yet the wines sold at auction at huge prices.

At this point Bob let us in on a little secret that when choosing wines for pre auction tasting they choose the bottles that have the lowest fill level outstanding that were more likely to be partially oxidised/spoiled. This is partly because the likely buyers do not care so much about the wine quality but wish to impress their friends with the label when serving it up so are not put off by wine quality.

Other subjects covered included screw cap closures, how long wines can keep for, becoming just the second Kiwi Master of Wine, how the NZ industry has progressed over the last 20 or so years and his worst wine ever tasted and how he communicated this to the winery concerned!

Bob continued to entertain with his views on wine awards stickers on bottles, when they are appropriate and when you need to be a little more careful. He also gave a hilarious description regarding the similarity between imbibing a good Burgundy and sensual satisfaction (over which a veil must be drawn). Well if you didn’t go to the talk you should have done!

After the talk there were plenty of questions but to sum up a very interesting and informative talk with lots of humour. Good fun!