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Oddbins begins search for the nation's top amateur wine taster

Published:  22 June, 2015

Oddbins has begun its search to find its amateur wine taster of 2015.

The first round of The Palate competition took place at the Taste of London festival last weekand with in-store tastings in Oddbins branches over the weekend. There will be a second chance to have a go in-store next weekend (June 27 and 28).

Contestants will be whittled down over four increasingly difficult rounds, ending in wine boot camps with critic and educator Ahmed, TV presenters Peter Richards MW and Susie Richards MW and Oddbins' buyer Ana Sapungiu, and a glitzy final in London.

Ahmed said the competition played a vital role in smashing through the snobbery that dogs the wine world.

She 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."

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."

As well as the title of The Palate 2015, entrants can win a wine holiday in South Africa, a long weekend in Italy, a day course at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, wine prizes totalling £3,000 and the chance to pick a wine for Oddbins to list nationally