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Lord's tops Harpers tasting test averages

Published:  23 July, 2008

Lord's Cricket Ground is the best venue in the UK for tastings, and the annual generic shindigs of Wines of Chile and Wines of South Africa are the best single events, according to a poll of tastings organisers and attendees conducted by Harpers.

The St John's Wood venue, home to a number of annual generic tastings, including Wines of Chile's, beat off competition from Old Billingsgate, the venue of WOSA's 2005 tasting, and the Royal Horticultural Halls to take the prize. It was praised for, among other things, its open-plan room and natural light' and its convenience for public transport.

Administrators at the home of cricket should not become too comfortable with the venue's new position as the home of wine tasting, however. Lord's also made second place in the poll of the worst tasting venues, with one respondent finding the space uncongenial, noisy and largely overcrowded'.

And, as if to prove the notion that one man's tasting heaven

is another's soulless barn, the leading venue to avoid was the Royal Horticultural Halls, which was described variously as difficult to get to', drab', lacking charisma' and

lacking atmosphere'.

Other winners in the poll included Delfina Gallery in London Bridge and The White Horse in Parsons Green, which came out as the top small venues; and Waitrose, whose seasonal tastings were easily the most popular of the events held by retailers. For a full list of what makes for a successful tasting, see The taste of things to come (feature).