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Jancis Robinson MW leads Judgement of London panel

Published:  16 May, 2024

Jancis Robinson MW OBE, Isa Bal MS and Margaret Rand will be among the judges for the London Wine Fair’s Judgement of London, which takes place on the first day of next week's show.  

The tasting is a homage to the late Steven Spurrier’s landmark Judgement of Paris blind tasting in 1976, which saw Burgundy and Bordeaux pitched against California, with the latter comparing favourably to the former, sending shockwaves around the wine world.

For the London Wine Fair (LWF) edition, judges will taste pairs of European icon wines with their non-European equivalents; eight pairs of white wines, followed by eight pairs of red wines.

Curated by Ronan Sayburn MS, CEO of The Court of Master Sommeliers, alongside Sarah Abbott MW, MD of Swirl Wine Group, the tasting will take place under exam conditions in a private room at the Olympia, the host venue for the LWF.  

Head of LWF, Hannah Tovey, said: “We are delighted with the response we have had from those invited to join our judging panel.  The fact that we have such a high calibre of judges and that this tasting has become something of a ‘hot ticket’ is testament to the longevity of the original 1976 Judgement and appetite for this updated version almost half a century on.”

Judgement of London will take place at LWF on Monday 20 May, with the results announced on the Centre Stage on Tuesday, 21 May at 4.45pm.

The judges:

Elliot Awin, partner, ABS Wine Agencies 

Isa Bal MS, consultant sommelier, Trivet Restaurant 

Richard Bampfield MW, wine consultant 

Stephen Brook, author and contributing editor Decanter

Alistair Cooper MW, writer, consultant and judge 

Dawn Davies MW, buying director, Speciality Drinks 

Gearoid Devaney MS, director, Flint Wines and Cabotte 

Sarah Jane Evans MW, wine writer 

Tina Gellie, content manager, Decanter brand 

Aleesha Hansel, wine writer 

Daniel Illsley, founder, Theatre of Wine 

Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Writer 

Kathrine Larsen-Robert MS, head of fine wine, Enotria 

Adam Lechmere, publishing director, Académie du Vin Library 

Regine Lee MW, MD, Indigo Wine

Margaret Rand, wine writer 

Laura Rhys MS, head of wine – communications, education and style, Gusbourne  

Jancis Robinson MW OBE, wine writer, FT and 

Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief, The Drinks Business  

Matt Wilkin MS, director, H2Vin 

Clem Yates MW, founder, English Pink