The Wine Curmudgeon is spending today and tomorrow at The Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, one of the most prestigious in the country. I mention this not to give myself a tip o' the fedora (there will be plenty of people there who know more than I do), but to note the beginning of the wine competition season.
Wine competitions are an odd duck. Lately, there has been much rumbling about whether they're fair or not, including a study in a learned journal about judging bias. And that doesn't take into account that most commercially made wine is made competently enough to deserve at least a bronze medal. It's not unusual to see competitions give some sort of medal to more than half of the wines entered, which does make one wonder about the value of the medal.
Having said this, competitions play a key role the wine business. In Dallas, consumers flock to retailers when The Morning News results are announced to scoop up the medal winners that have obliging been put on sale. It's really a sight to see. And there are lots of competitions across the country: I've already judged one, and I'm going to do four more and maybe a fifth.
Hence a new feature here, which you'll find on the left hand side of the page — Wine competition notes from the events that I've judged. I'll update it every time I do one, and let you know a note on the blog. The first one is the Virginia Governor's Cup.