Judge profile: Peter Nixson
Peter Nixson was the wine & beverage manager at British Airways for over 20 years, buying everything from Deluxe Cuvee Champagnes and Grands Crus Classes Bordeaux for Concorde to 187ml bottles for the economy cabins. He then moved to a tiny importer of Italian wines in west London, where he helped set up a flourishing international wine list. After a ten year break from British Airways, he is now back acting as their wine consultant. He has been judging at the IWSC for 25 years.
What wines/regions are popular at the moment?
I love wines from the South of France – Languedoc, Roussillon – it’s an area that for so long was regarded just as a home for cheap bulk wines but now there are some fantastic products coming out of there. I love Greek wines, especially the wines from the islands, and cool climate Chile is quite exciting as well.
What are you looking for when judging wines? What makes a Gold medal-winning wine?
Balance, finesse and personality. Obviously the wine has to be correct, but it also has to be one that makes you think "wow, this is something really special".
What’s your most memorable experience in the wine industry (so far)?
Working at British Airways with my wonderful consultants Jancis Robinson, Hugh Johnson and Michael Broadbent, who are such luminaries of our industry but all such delightful people. It was a real privilege.
What are you most excited about judging at the IWSC?
I really don't mind which regions I judge - I love them all! I get excited about what we're going to find in these glasses, and it's doubly exciting when something gorgeous comes out of a region that you might not expect.