France on Saturday won the world blind wine-tasting competition for teams, unseating reigning champion Belgium.
The annual event, launched last year, was held in the eastern French town of Ay and drew four-member teams from 18 countries, including Spain, China, Russia and Argentina.
The teams, blind-tasting fine wines from around the world, had to identify their countries of origin, the grape varieties used in them, their appellations and their vintages.
The winning team of Jean-Michel Perrussan, Eddy Gautier, Didier Sanchez and Pierre Citerne all came from the southern Toulouse region.
“Very often the first impressions given by the nose or the robe (colour) put us on the right track,” said team leader Perrussan.
“Then we have to begin the process of elimination,” said the 53-year-old radiologist who trains once a week to blind-taste wines.
Philippe de Cantenac, a journalist for the French wine monthly that organised the event, said the third championships would be held next October at Chateauneuf-du-Pape, near the southern city of Avignon and famed for its distinctive red wine.