Oddbins has relaunched its competition to find the UK’s finest amateur wine taster and expects thousands to take part this weekend.

Last year 21,000 people entered The Palate before Bristol’s Steve Saunders took the crown.

The Palate sees thousands of entrants whittled down over four increasingly challenging rounds, before the finalists attend boot caps with wine educator Sarah Ahmed, TV presenters Peter Richards MW and Susie Richards MW and Oddbins Buyer Ana Sapungiu and then a grand final.

Ahmed said: “It is an incontrovertible fact that many, many people feel too intimidated to taste wine confidently and The Palate plays a vital role in demystifying and democratising the world of wine. 

“It’s about showing people that anyone can do it – and it was truly moving to see people on that journey from self-doubt to confidence last year.”

Round One runs over the weekends of June 20-21 and 27-28 in all Oddbins shops and also at the Taste of London food and drink festival from June 17-21.

Emma Shaw, head of commercial operations at Oddbins, said: “The Palate is for anybody who has ever had their confidence knocked by a self-professed Wine Expert and made to feel that their opinion is somehow invalid. It is not. It is valid and, furthermore, wine tasting can be fun. Shocking, I know.”

Prizes include a wine tasting trip to South Africa, a long weekend in Italy, a day course at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, further wine prizes totalling £3,000 and the chance to pick a wine for Oddbins to list nationwide.