Judge profile: Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW
Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW is a consultant wine lecturer, writer and presenter, specialising in Italy, France, South Africa and North and South America.
She has taught at the WSET since 2004, and is a frequent expert at international wine exhibitions including Vinitaly and London Wine Fair.
What wines or regions are popular at the moment?
Rose and sparkling wines, but also light reds – those that can be chilled and used as an alternative to heavy white wines.
What are you looking for when judging wines? What makes a Gold medal-winning wine?
A Gold wine is an amazing achievement. The entire panel needs to agree that the wine has that extra something special beyond simply being concentrated and complex. It needs to have finesse and elegance, with a lingering perfume in the mouth. Something that is extraordinary, memorable and connects with all the senses.
What’s your most memorable experience in the wine industry (so far)?
My most memorable wine experience was giving 100 points to a wine. In over 15 years of judging, it was like seeing a unicorn.
What are you most excited about judging at the IWSC?
I am always excited about seeing the new crop of wines, and interacting with the judging panel. It’s exciting to see wines from many countries do well and achieve lots of medals.