Results of the 2011 Clark County Fair Wine Judging

August 11, 2011

My entries sort of took a beating in the Clark County Fair this year. I got two red ribbon and one white.

My “common cider,” which was the cider I intended to be judged by beer drinkers but wasn’t, scored an 11.0 total (pleasant). Comments included that it was clear, which I wasn’t sure it would be due to bottle conditioning, but that it was a bit sour, thin body, and underdeveloped. It scored a 9 (pleasant), 12 (good), 11 (pleasant), and 12 (good).

My raspberry lemonade wine came in at 10.1 (pleasant) with comments saying it is underdeveloped. All scores were in the pleasant range of 9-11.

But the biggest shocker to me was my still cider coming in a 5.2 (needs improvement) with a 6 (acceptable), 6 (acceptable), 5 (needs improvement), and 4 (needs improvement) scores. I really like that batch of cider, and I even had a woman try it after the judging and she said she liked it. Now, she could be lying, but she did ask me for resources, so I’m not sure. So, I’m going to judge this batch the way they would have right now. Granted, this is a different bottle, so something could have been wrong with that bottle.

Appearance: Everyone liked the appearance and gave it an average of 2.5 out of 3 possible. I’m not contesting this.

Aroma: Comments are that it smells sour, vinegry, off (sulfury), and unpleasant. Everyone scored it a 1 out of 4 possible. I smell what cider is supposed to smell like. There is nothing off or sour smelling about it. I give it a 3. Mind you, our group had a hard time judging smell with the glasses provided, so maybe that was a problem?

Taste: Comments included thin body, harsh, too young, no fruit flavor, vinegar taste, sour, and high acid. The average scores were 0.5 out of 6 possible. Wow. I’ll give you thin and high acid, and if I slurp it, I can understand the sour comment. So, okay, maybe it isn’t as good as I originally held it in esteem. I give it a 2 score.

Finish and Aftertaste: Comments said it was watery and neutral, don’t taste apple, vinegar aftertaste, sour, and harsh for an average score of 0.75 out of 4 possible. Well, you are supposed to have apple ever, let alone in the aftertaste. It does start out a little bit sour and/or harsh, but the first comment about being watery and neutral kicks in. By this, I mean that the aftertaste does not linger. So, I would grant it at least a 2 to 2.5.

Overall: People said it was flawed, unbalanced, needs aging, not pleasant, and not drinkable. The average score was 0.4 out of 3 possible. I disagree, and find it pleasant and drinkable and accept that it is a higher acid cider since there are styles like that. I agree that it is watery in the mouth feel, so that is a downside. I give it a 2.

Their scoring: 2.5 + 1 + 0.5 + 0.75 + 0.4 = 5.15 (needs improvement)

My scoring: 2.5 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 11.5 (Pleasant)

The ironic thing is, when I did the entries, I thought this cider would judge better because wine people were judging it and beer people would be judging the other one. Well, that goes to show you that even wine people sometimes don’t like cider. I’m going to have to do an experiment next year and enter the same sparkling cider as a beer and as a wine and see what happens.

Last Year’s Results

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3 Responses to “Results of the 2011 Clark County Fair Wine Judging”

  1. Lena Says:

    Is it possible to have something judged in both the wine and beer category?


  2. […] was that all of these ciders had really good mouth feel and a touch of tannin, both aspects which I seem to be lacking from my own cider. I asked about my observation, and I was told that all of their ciders have a 10% cider apple base, […]


  3. […] find out if people would buy my product, but did I really find that out? Instead, I got the usual “not enough apple” which near impossible to correct out. I didn’t actually learn if people would buy it. Was my […]


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