When was the last time you actually looked at the awards that "so and so" winery won, and decided to buy a wine based on that award? Granted, it may be a very good wine, but really, are there that many meaningful wine competitions out there?
A little research shows there are hundreds of wine competitions that can be entered. And, my guess is that a small winery would want to enter as many as possible to build up their "street cred" with the buying public, as well as wine shops and restaurants, by marketing the awards they have won..
Some competitions rely on the public to taste the wines. These types of competitions may lead to a favorite wine, but not necessarily a good example of the grape variety.
There was an article in the Los Angeles Times, written a couple years ago by Jerry Hirsch, where he sited a study of 13 U.S. wine competitions, with little consistency in results,"The study said that of almost 2,500 wines that were entered in more than three competitions, 47% won a gold medal in at least one contest. However, of those gold medal winners, 98% were regarded as just above average or below in at least one of the other competitions."
For over 150 years, the California State Fair, has been one of the largest wine competitions, for a variety of California produced wines. In 2011, more than 600 wineries entered over 3000 wines. Because of the large volume of wines submitted to the competition, a wine winning an award here, would hold more "weight" than an award won at a local art and wine festival....so it might make sense to determine where those award ribbons (the bigger the competition, the better the value of the award), hanging in the tasting room came from, and take into consideration the grape variety that was judged.
For a list of some of the wine competitions across the country, check out this site.
|Wine tasting at Castoro|
The stamina of the judges is critical in large competitions. Also, I've been to many competitive tastings where we all sipped the wines in the same order, which I'm sure biased the results. Finally, in large tastings, I suspect the hottest and heaviest wines have an advantage over lighter and more subtle entries.ReplyDelete
Good points. I don't think that the hottest and heaviest have an advantage when the the wines are tasted by grape variety, but I would suspect that higher alcohol wines, tasted at the beginning of the competition, would tire the palate faster. For this reason, lighter grape varieties should be tasted first (for even white before red). Since judges can be tasting hundreds of wines, it is important to know tasting techniques, and evaluation, and to always spit (rather than drink).ReplyDelete
Many think that wine judging is a "glamorous" job...but in fact it takes a lot of concentration, a good memory, and a trained palate.