Wine Judging for the 2011 Clark County Fair

August 4, 2011

First off, for being all proud that I had outsmarted the system to get my cider into the wine judging, it was announced that the beer judging had 173 beers, and so ciders and meads were to be judged by the wine judges this year to ease up on the beer judging. So, all that worry for nothing, but also, I was not going to get feedback from beer drinkers. Oh well.

Like last year, all the people who had ever judged before were split up, so I was placed at a table with three people who had never judged before. I wouldn’t call myself the expert, merely the organizer. Our team was interesting: there was an older woman whose tastes where completely opposite of mine, a younger guy who had been taking some wine tasting classes, and a gal who had just turned 21. Turns out, she had never had mead before, but the first one we judged was a dry mead that was awful, so we had to find a second one for her that was good.

The first wine is always the hardest one to judge, as that is where we set the bar to compare everything else to for the night. We started with a pinot noir that I thought was pretty good, though a bit acidic and oxidized. I could drink it with dinner, so I gave it a 15. The older woman thought it to be only acceptable, and would not drink it with dinner, and gave it an 8. Wow.

We had a white wine, two meads, a pretty good pineapple wine, a bland peach wine, a mixed berry wine, a blackberry wine, and our last wine was a blueberry wine that gave us problems. Blueberries are hard to work with, and we couldn’t smell them or taste them. If I didn’t know it was blueberry, it might have scored higher, but we were supposed to be judging into the style dictated by the label.

We were also given clear plastic cups for tasting. We were supposed to judge appearance first, and then aroma,  but the cups lost and/or absorbed the aroma on us, so we learned we had to judge aroma first. I think in the future, I might take my own wine glass with me.

The results should be published here in the next couple of days.

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