Basketball has Michael Jordan. Surfing has Kelly Slater. Rugby league has Wally Lewis. All arguably the greatest to ever do what they do best. Add Richard Juhlin to that list – the greatest champagne taster who ever lived.
Champion Champagne Taster
Juhlin is the undisputed #1 champagne expert in the world. That is quite the accolade. Starting his working career as a physical education teacher, the future greatest champagne taster of all time decided to instead follow his passion – a wise move on his behalf. Since this decision, Juhlin has earned a reputation for having a ‘photographic nose’, meaning his skills in blind tasting of champagne are simply unparalleled. Here is a prime example.
Juhlin correctly guessed 43 out of 50 champagnes at the 2003 Spectacle du Monde challenge in Paris. The guy who got second? He only guessed a mere 4 out of 50. That’s an over 1000% increase over his closest competitor.
The world’s greatest champagne sampler thankfully puts his skills to good use, travelling the globe teaching others about the delicacy that is French sparkling wine. He has authored seven books on the subject since 1995, all categorising his wine adventure. They are:
- Champagneboken in 1995.
- 2000 Champagnes in 1999.
- The Great Tasting in 2000.
- 3000 Champagnes in 2002.
- 4000 Champagnes in 2004.
- Richard Juhlin Champagne Guide in 2008.
- A Scent Of Champagne in 2013.
Some of Juhlin’s crowning achievements include a total of over 8,500 champagnes tasted (a current world record), a holding of the world’s largest champagne tastings ever held with the 150 best champagnes made, and finally, Juhlin received a ‘Merite de Agricole’ from the French Ministry of Agriculture in 2002.
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These days, Juhlin features on television globally and is often consulted on his champagne preference from restaurants, connoisseurs, and makers from all around the world. It sounds like quite the nice life; travelling the world, drinking fine wines. But this man has clearly created a passion for a delicacy saved traditionally for special occasions. I suppose every day is a special occasion for the world’s best, the greatest of all time, Richard Juhlin.
Check out this strange yet mesmerising clip of Juhlin sampling a Bollinger 1934 that aired on Chinese TV:
For more information on the man and his opinions, see his Champagne Club.