Welsh to ponder latest crushes

LAUNCESTON restaurateur and sommelier James Welsh will taste, critique and score about 100 wines this morning.

He will be joined by Huon Valley-based wine writer Winsor Dobbin to determine the winners of this year's Festivale Wine Awards.

Mr Welsh said the three-hour blind tasting required immense concentration.

``You've got to spit the wine out after you taste it - there are no two ways about it,'' he said.

``We try to break it up with crackers, olives and water. We certainly look forward to a beer afterwards.''

Mr Welsh said the pair never struggled to find stellar wines among the selection.

``We're always spoilt for choice,'' he said.

``I'm really looking forward to seeing the 2012 wines this year, particularly the rieslings and pinots noir.''

The wine aficionados will score across six categories out of 20 based on their nose, palate and colour.

Winners will be announced at Festivale's Cocktail Party Under the Stars tomorrow night.

The six victors each receive a banner to display at their stall at the weekend.

``It means that punters can easily identify what is, in our opinion, the standout wine in its category,'' Mr Welsh said.

``They can then taste all the wines and draw their own conclusions.''

Festivale runs at Launceston's City Park from tomorrow evening until Sunday afternoon.

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