MEETING Dott. Guiseppe Martelli the President of the Concorso Enologico Internazionale Vinitaly, which comprises 90 wine judges from all over the world, was only one of the many lovely and unforgettable things I experienced recently in Verona, northern Italy. I was a wine judge in the Concorso Enologico Internazionale Vinitaly and we judged over 3,500 wines from 31 countries! Vinitaly is the biggest exhibition of wines and spirits, larger than the similar event in France. Here, everything is well organised and Guiseppe runs the wine judging with slick and smooth military precision. Smartly dressed sommeliers march in and pour the wines in perfect coordination like Bersaglieri (Italy's elite regiment like the Green Berets and Navy SEALs)on parade. We judged the wines on many details which shall remain a closely guarded secret. It was hard work but very FUN. Every morning, reporting for duty, I sat at my individual tasting station with two bread rolls which I never ate, and a bottle of Acqua Minerale Naturale (the water without the CO2 gas) and rows of sparkling clean, odour free ISO regulation wine tastng glasses. As the only wine judge from Singapore I admired our red and white Singapore national flag on the table. In between tasting still and sparkling wines , I thought of my favourite song as I looked at the Singapore flag...but I did not ask anyone to play it, because if I did, evryone would have to stand up.
Please go to Verona next year for Vinitaly, and you will have a helluva time in the city immortalised by William Shakespeare in his classic hit play, Romeo and Juliet.
Enjoy! By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet