Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wine Competition Judging


Do you ever wonder what goes on at a wine competition? How are the wines judged? Do the judges know what wine from what winery is in each glass. The answer is NO.

First a wind competition is a blind tstingby wine experts of a large number of wines to determine their relative quality on that day. Keep in mind, the same wine tasted a month earlier or later can be different.

Blind tasting means the judges have no idea what specific wines they're tasting. Sometimes they know the varietal type and vintage. They don't even see the bottle, even in a brown bag. Reason, the capsule could give the winery's identy.

What wines are judged in a competition – those that are entered.

Who are the judges? Usually a diverse group of wine experts from many different professional areas. You might have wine makers (but not wine makers that have entered their wines.) wine writers, sommeliers, wine retailers etc.. They all have two things in common; a passion for wine and daily exposure to it.

How are wines judged? Each wine is judged on it's own merits – color, clarity, aroma, bouquet, taste, aftertaste, and overall quality.

Do judges get drunk? No!!! When you're judging wines, you don't swallow the samples, you spit them into a container.

What do the results really mean? The results reflect the collective opinions of expert judges about a specific group of wines on that day. Wine competitions are a unique blend of objective and subjective. The objectivity involves several people in a blind tasting process which eliminates personal bias for a region or winery. The subjectivity involves the personal taste sensitivities and preferences of different people.

You can hold your own wine competition at home with friends. It will make for a fun evening.

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