At the 1st Edition of the Paris Wine Cup, which took place in Paris on June 29th 2020, our Famille Carabello-Baum Meursault 2017 won a Gold medal: the ultimate seal of approval in the global wine industry. In order to receive this distinction, a wine needs to score highly in three different categories: Quality, Value and Packaging. Additionally, our Meursault was recognized as “Best In Show” for both the Burgundy and Chardonnay categories.
The goal of the Paris Wine Cup is to award and celebrate wines that consumers want to buy. The competition’s judges examine the many emerging and re-discovered styles which can intrigue today’s wine drinkers and appeal to new and lapsed wine drinkers. The holistic make-up of the judging panel, which consisted of experts from various commercial aspects of the industry, ensured that all wines selected as winners are exactly the types of wines favored by the wine trade as well as the end consumer.
Preston is our Global Wine Advisor Manager. He is passionate about wine and holds the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 4 Diploma, which is one of the highest levels of wine certification in the world. As a wine expert, Preston participated on the jury of the first edition of the Paris Wine Cup. He shared this experience from the inside with us…
Preston, can you please introduce yourself?
I’m originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and first discovered France while spending a year abroad during college. A day or two after my arrival in Paris, I already knew I would make this city my home! At that time, wine really wasn’t on my radar but after absorbing French culture and cuisine for a year, I caught the wine bug. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Art History and working in several other fields, I made the move to the wine industry. For the past 10 years, I have been working in wine education, wine tourism, and sales. At VIVANT, I now lead our team of 15 passionate Wine Advisors located throughout the world.
How and why did you get involved with the Paris Wine Cup?
France is one of the most important countries in the wine industry, both in terms of history, production, and the reputation for making some of the finest wines in the world. Surprisingly, Paris was not known as a “wine capital” until quite recently. When I first arrived, you had a few old fashioned wine shops and a couple decent quality wine bars, but far fewer than in London or New York (neither of which are even close to top-quality wine regions!). Along with many of us in the wine industry, the Paris Wine Cup is seeking to change this view of the city and heighten awareness. I feel that the younger generation of French wine enthusiasts and the international wine community that has settled in Paris is doing a great job to elevate the status of Paris as a world-class place for wine. Based on this, the Paris Wine Cup sought professionals in the industry with very diverse backgrounds and origins to help assess the wines in the competition. I was delighted to participate!
Can you define the specific judging process for this competition?
Rather than focusing purely on quality, the Paris Wine Cup seeks to take into account other important factors such as value and packaging that heavily influence a consumer’s decision to purchase wine. Most traditional wine competitions focus only on the overall quality of the wine and do not often gear their scoring towards the average consumer. The wines were first tasted only with the knowledge of the region, grape, and price point, and the final score for packaging was given after the label was revealed. Packaging, rightfully so, has an increased importance in the entire perception of a wine.
As a member of the jury, which wine impressed you the most during the competition?
There were two wines that really stood out to me, both German wines. Honigberg - bee Riesling Sekt Brut Réserve from Weingut zur Römerkelter was such a treat and so different from any other sparkling wines I’m used to drinking. I drink a lot of champagne, and this was just so refreshing and it’s always a pleasure to taste good sparkling riesling. I was also blown away by Weingut Künstler’s Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese. It’s not very often I get to taste wines like this as they are quite rare and expensive. It was pure nectar, yet completely balanced by its acidity.
Do you have any comments on the great result for Famille Carabello-Baum’s Meursault 2017?
Of course, working for the winery, I was not part of the panel that scored this wine given that it would have been a conflict of interest. But I agree wholeheartedly with the other judges' assessment that Famille Carabello-Baum’s Meursault made by Emmanuel Sala is such a pleasure to drink. I love that this wine is resolutely modern and quite an atypical style of Meursault. It’s all about juicy, refreshingly ripe fruit and is rich without being overpowering. It combines excellent value and quality for this appellation and is a perfect wine for summer!
About the Paris Wine Cup
The Paris Wine Cup is a leading international wine competition of its kind that rates wines by quality, value, and packaging. The organizer of the event is Beverage Trade Network, which organizes alcohol beverage industry events around the world. For more information, please visit: www.pariswinecup.com.