SuperBOWL 2003 – fine wine celebration

pre-event 1pre-event 2walk-rounddinnergallery
seminar 1seminar 2seminar 3seminar 4

xsuperBOWL 2003 was a national “off-line”; a gathering of wine nuts who meet on the this site’s Wine Forum. The superBOWL event is a celebration of wine. It is a totally non-commercial event, and most of the wines – rare and expensive – are brought along by the attendees, who have raided their cellars to turn up a special bottle or two they want to share.

Report on superBOWL 2003

by Tom Cannavan. Photos by Phil Wilkins and David Pearce

This was the second ever running of superBOWL. Last year 60 wine-lovers gathered for the event which was a huge success. This year, we put a limit on the event of 75, which sold-out within days of being announced: only three people from 2002 did not come back!

Below you will find brief introductions to the highlights of the superBOWL weekend, along with links to various reports and hundreds of tasting notes.

pre-superBOWL wine dinners
On the evening before superBOWL, two fine wine dinners for a couple of dozen early arrivers took place. One in Glasgow at the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant, and an event which came to be known as the “mega off-line” at Braidwoods Michelin-starred restaurant, about 30 miles away.

Report on the Ubiquitous Chip dinner here
Report on the Braidwoods mega dinner here.

superBOWL afternoon
The afternoon session of superBOWL was is centred around a walk-round tasting of an absolutely amazing array of fine wines. You can read tasting notes on all 80-odd wines, compiled by several superBOWLers, here.


In parallel with the walk-round tasting ran a series of four tutored seminars. Each attendee had the opportunity to attend two seminars of their choice. The seminars were:

1: Bordeaux 1997: great drinking on the cheap, or overhyped?
with Neal Martin (read notes here)

2: Great wines you may never have heard of
with Tom Cannavan (read notes here)

3. Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru red Burgundy 2000 vs 2001
with Bill Nanson (read notes here)

4. A world of Sparkling Wine
with winemaker Jacques Conradie (read notes here)

superBOWL evening
xAfter a short break when many superBOWLers simply moved outside onto the chilly but lovely decking overlooking Glasgow’s river Clyde, the grand dinner began, accompanied by Champagne and fine wines donated by a range of sponsoring companies, and again brought along by the attendees (right: rather than catch an hour’s respite, the hard core move outside whilst dinner is prepared).
Notes on the evening are available here, and don’t miss our superBOWL photo gallery

I would like to thank the following businesses who gave their generous support to superBOWL 2003:

Bibendum Fine Wine
Berry Brothers & Rudd
Farr Vintners
Raeburn Fine Wines
Domaine des Chezeaux
Domaine Fourrier
Champagne Raymond Boulard
Highland Spring


superBOWL 2002 was always going to be a hard act to follow. The event had gone so well, thanks to the generosity of sponsors, attendees and my team of volunteer helpers in Glasgow, that it more or less passed into folklore! In fact, many people have commented that this year’s event was, if anything, even better. It was certainly bigger, with over 300 wines poured on the day, a guest winemaker from South Africa, and superBOWLers travelling from all over the UK as well as Switzerland, Belgium and Germany to attend. Though it is an event to delight even the most serious wine geek, it is without doubt the sense of camaraderie and sheer fun that sets superBOWL apart from anything else I can think of in the UK wine calendar.

Finally, my thanks to all the individuals who gave time and effort so generously on the day: the speakers for the seminars, the supplier of 450 tasting glasses, the City Inn for their hospitality, and the fantastic team of helpers who carried wines; poured wines; refilled ice buckets, emptied spitoons and on and on. My thanks, of course, to all the superBOWLers who made the event what it was.