South Africa dominates in Quarterfinal B

World Cup of Wine's Series 1 continues to shock and delight the non-boffin wine loving world, with an exciting showdown between Australasia and South Africa in Quarterfinal B.

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Round 1 saw a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc go head to head with its equivalent from South Africa. Judges were divided at first but eventually it seemed like the South African wine garnered more approval. The whites continued with a full frontal assault from Thistledown's Chardonnay proving too much for many of the judges, who preferred the more subtle approach of the Front Row's Chenin Roussanne.

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A quick pause to cleanse our palettes and then it was into the red rounds. First into the breach was Stoneburn's Pinot Noir, which was received enthusiastically by our judges. It looked like Australasia might have tipped the balance with this delicious drop, but once again South Africa rose to the challenge with the Neil Joubert Pinotage. It then fell to The Opportunist Shiraz to save the day for Australasia, but it was outgunned by the Simonsig Cabernet Shiraz, whose soft underbelly of Cabernet rounded off the rough edges left by the The Opportunist.

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Quite a few of the judges had to try these later reds again and again to make sure they had judged them correctly. But when it came time to tally the scores, the result was undeniable: South Africa was the clear winner, obliterating Australasia in a unanimous decision.

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Which puts Australasia out of the running for the rest of the series, but I'm far from sad about that - if the goal of World Cup of Wine is to get us drinking and discovering new wines, then retiring an old favourite can only make room for more new ones!

Kati Woods