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Challenge chairmen declare 'no tolerance' approach to false entries

With the start of the International Wine Challenge tasting just days away, chairmen Charles Metcalfe, Tim Atkin MW, Derek Smedley MW and Sam Harrop MW have announced that the 2006 competition will benefit from a twice yearly random testing of trophy winning wines. This new procedure is designed to ensure that the sample entered for the IWC matches the product on the shelves.

William Reed, the new owners of the International Wine Challenge, the biggest blind tasting in the world, are determined that the judging process for the 23rd IWC will be more rigorous than ever. In order to protect the credibility of the competition and to prevent the misuse of the significant marketing power conveyed upon a trophy winner, the chairmen have decided to use organoleptic and chemical analysis to unmask any wrong doing.

For 12 months following the conclusion of the two week tasting at The Barbican, the IWC will keep a reference sample of each of the trophy winning wines. On two occasions over the year the four chairmen will meet to taste a random selection of these wines against shop-bought samples and compare their findings with the results of a chemical analysis from a top laboratory. The dual process is designed to ensure total traceability.

The IWC tasting and judging will take place between 24 April and 5 May. Medal winners will be announced at the London International Wine and Spirits Fair on 16 May.

For further information go to www.internationalwinechallenge.com

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