A waiter from Kilburn has won Oddbins’ amateur wine tasting competition The Palate, which has been dubbed the X Factor for wine lovers.
Twenty-seven-year-old Phil Hedderman beat nearly 1,700 rivals to win the top prize of a holiday to Stellenbosch in South Africa, donated by the Winery of Good Hope – and got to choose a wine to be stocked in Oddbins.
Sangiovese Superiore Bacaia 2012 (£11.50) will hit shelves next month.
Hedderman said: “I have always enjoyed tasting wine, but I never expected to win. It goes to show that anyone who enjoys wine has the ability to judge a glass on its merits, without the need for any formal training.”
The final was judged by Oddbins buyer Ana Sapungiu, wine educator Sarah Ahmed and MWs Peter Richards and Susie Barrie.
Sapungiu said: “The Palate goes from strength to strength and is a major part of our ongoing commitment to make wine appreciation democratic and unstuffy. We want everyone to have the confidence to learn more about wine and to put more trust in their own taste buds.”
Ahmed added: “It has been super-satisfying mentoring and judging at The Palate, which brings Oddbins’ unstuffy, democratic approach to wine and fosters customers’ wine knowledge, tasting ability and enthusiasm en masse. It goes without saying that the winner of The Palate is a terrific natural taster.”