The Wine Curmudgeon, dressed in a white lab coat and clipboard at the ready, has been judging wine for the past three days. I'm at the 34th annual International Eastern Wine Competition in Watkins Glen, New York.
The lab coat is one of the unique features of this event, which is affectionately known as Wine Camp. I'll write more about this next week (and there is even a picture of me in the lab coat that I'll post). We finished today with the best-of-the-best judging, in which the double gold medal wines face off against each other.
This has been much fun, despite all of the spitting. The other judges in my group (winemaker Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards in New York; Phil Ward, a distributor with New Jersey's Opici Wine Group; and restaurateur Paul Geisz II) have more than tolerated my quirks. Even let me convince them about the quality of a very dry rose that I liked more than they did.
We tasted some intriguing wines, including a bunch of what we thought were New York rieslings, and frontenacs, probably from the upper Midwest. Frontenac is a new grape variety bred to withstand winter, and it makes a cherry-ish red wine with soft tannins that still has a backbone.
Time to put the lab coat back on and resume spitting. More next week.