Sadly Joanne Twentyman of Mr Thomas’s Chop House in Manchester didn't win the Sommelier award but she did really well to come in the top five runners up. You may recall that she matched our wine, Pedra Basta 2008, with a delicious dish of roasted breast of lamb with a lemon zest and mustard crust, served with a light casserole of devilled lamb’s kidney, new potatoes and baby leeks. The judges said: 'this was a dish that scored for its honesty and depth of flavour, with the accompanying meaty wine reduction well judged for both seasoning and intensity. Twentyman’s choice of wine initially looked bold, but soon calmed down to show a fragrant side to its bold, berry flavours. With the lamb, its wild, herby character emerged; while with the kidneys, the sweetness of fruit and note of vanilla became apparent. All in all, an excellent pairing.' It is worth making your way to Mr Thomas's on Cross Street in the centre of Manchester to try this. I love having lunch in their Victorian tiled dining room.
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty