Category:Wine competitions

International Eastern Wine Competition, Part II

IMG_1101 This is how well-run the International Eastern Wine Competiton is — it survived the Wine Curmudgeon being placed in a minor role of authority. I had to oversee my judging group on the second day of the three-day event. That meant I had to record the scores for the wines we judged — and do some math in the proicess. I'm still shuddering.

Having said all that, I had a wonderful time and it is one of my favorite competitions to judge. If nothing else, I always get to taste some wonderful New York rieslings that aren't available in Texas. My report is here, and it is updated with results.

And what would the IEWC be without a picture of me in my lab coat (courtesy of my pal Dave McIntyre)?

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2010 Dallas Morning News competition

Two day and 200 wines — and about 100 of them were zinfandel. But it was still fun, and it's an honor to judge at The Morning News, which attracts some of the best wine people in the country and is one of the most prestigious competitions in the United States.

Plus, we got to taste some odd grapes, which is always a treat. That included the Eastern European saperavi, which earned two golds. We also gave a gold to a very reasonably priced California cabernet sauvignon. Plus, the others on the panel were terrific, and I learned a lot. Details are here.

Wine competition season is underway

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.

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Toast of Taos and Southwestern Wine Competition

This isn ?t the biggest competition that the Wine Curmudgeon judges, but it is one of the most interesting. Only wines from the Southwest are eligible, and this year that meant entries from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma. No Texas, unfortunately.

The other five judges and I were impressed with the quality of the wine, which can be problematic in a competition like this. The cabernet francs from Colorado were nice, as were many of the rieslings from several states. After all, we ?re not judging California and France. But the wines were mostly professionally made and showed just how far regional wine has come in the U.S. More, after the jump:

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Southwest Wine Competition update

Getting ready to judge the best of show wines at the Southwest Wine Competition in Taos, N.M., part of next month's Taste of Taos. I'll have more on this later, but so far, so good. These are mostly wines from states that don't have much of a wine reputation, and the quality has been better this year than last.

We had a terrific red hybrid, some fine dessert wines, and a riesling that was quite medal worthy. Plus, the judging has been much fun.

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