I judge in at least half a dozen wine competitions each year in several countries. The highlight of these is the Five Nation Wine Challenge. Because the wines are all pre-selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world. It’s a great chance for me to taste the best of wines from Australia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina and to benchmark them against the New Zealand entries. I should add that that the professionalism of my fellow judges adds greatly to the pleasure of participation.
Bob Campbell was the second New Zealander and one of only 300 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. He founded The Wine Gallery, an Auckland based wine school, in 1990. Over 21,000 people have attended wine courses and wine seminars run by Bob Campbellthroughout New Zealand. In addition to wine education Bob Campbellmakes a living from wine writing and as a public speaker. He is New Zealand editor for Gourmet Traveller Wine, and is wine editor for Your Home & Garden, Taste magazine, North & South and the Air NZ In-Flight magazine “Kia Ora”. Bob was author of The New Zealand Wine Annual (1989-2001), co-author of Cuisine Wine Country 2003 and writes occasionally for the UK-based magazines, Wine and Decanter as well as the American magazine Wine Spectator, Wine & Dine in Singapore and Wine Press in China. He is a contributor to The Oxford Companion of Wine, Sainsbury’s Pocket Wine Guide, the Companion to Wine, the Great Vintage Wine Book (Broadbent), the Wine report byTomStevenson, Clarke & Spurrier’s Fine Wine Guide, The Slow Food Wine Guide (Italy) and a CDROM by Oz Clarke. Bob was awarded the title Columnist of the Year (Home & Food section) at the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) Awards in 2006 and Columnist of the Year (Home & Food Section) again in 2008.
Bob Campbell recently retired as chairman of judges at the NZ Wine Society Royal Easter Wine Show after 21 years service is chairman of judges at the NZ International Wine Show. He has been a senior judge at the National Australia Wine Show, co-chairman of judges at the International Wine Challenge in London and has judged extensively in Australia as well as England, Singapore, Hong Kong, Belgium, Slovenia, the US and France.