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Letters: French Wine fair play

Published:  18 January, 2007

I would be surprised if I was the only one who attended the French Wine Awards evening who had no inkling that three of the six gongs meted out to the UK wine trade went to members of the judging panel (or to their companies; Harpers, 21 October, p.4). A spokeswoman' was reported to have said that when the nominations are announced, if any of the judging panel has been nominated, we ask them how they want to play it'. So that's all right then

For all I know, the awards were thoroughly well deserved, but isn't it a basic principle of fairness that the judging process should be completely above board? Without such transparency, an award is tainted by the suspicion, justified or not, of jiggery-pokery. The French Wine Awards are a well-deserved pat on the back for the wine trade, so it would be a shame if its gongs were to be compromised in future years by ignoring the most basic rules of fair play.

Anthony Rose

Wine writer, The Independent