So how do you go about judging nigh-on 300 of the finest English and Welsh wines amid the Covid chaos? Susie reports back from chairing the WineGB Awards 2020 – a bit different from the norm, featuring an aircraft hangar, personalised portaloos, being brought to tears…and English sparkling Merlot (yes, really – and no, the last two things aren’t connected).

There’s a quick word on Wine Festival Winchester 2020 going online (save the date: 28th November!) Susie gives her top tips on what to look out for in English and Welsh wine right now, and where to buy it. Peter pushes her on what to steer clear of too… Look out for Part II, out in early September as the trophies are announced and Susie wants to get a few more things off her chest.

‘With English and Welsh wines, it’s not about buying cheap party wine. It’s about buying local and relishing the quality you can find on your doorstep.’ Susie

Running Order

  • Introduction: 0 – 4.11
  • Susie on chairing the WineGB Awards 2020: 4.12 – 26.50
  • End: 26.50

‘Yes, we had differences of opinion. Sometimes quite extreme differences of opinion. And no, I won’t elaborate…’ Susie


  • Sparkling English Merlot. We just wanted to repeat that.
  • In this episode, we contemplate the image of Headmistress Susie…
  • …Who also delivers possibly the worst trumpet fanfare ever.
  • Finally, Peter confesses to pillaging the wine cellar while Susie was away chairing the WineGB Awards…we’ll report back on any sanctions issued as a result.

‘The moment I knew it had been a perfect week’s judging was when I tasted through the best sparkling wines and I was almost in tears.’ Susie

Photos from WineGB judging 2020 (by Tom Gold)

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