Friday, May 29, 2009

Eastern Iowa Amateur Wine Competition

Brad Post:

In my last posting I discussed and criticized the reliability of wine judging and went on to lend my support to the process, realizing and accepting the the limitations. However, just last night I was pleased to hear about the wine judge selection process of one of the nations rising and innovative professional wine competitions, the Mid-American Wine Competition.

As part of the selection process, the judges evaluated several wines (e.g., sauvignon blanc), identifying varietal characteristics, flavor profiles, and other judging criteria. In addition to the ability to distinguish the subtle characteristics of several varietals the judges were also required to replicate their evaluations. That is, after an initial evaluation the wines were taken away and later returned to be reevaluated! The best judges were able to replicate and show consistency across wines and time. Most excellent!

This year, my wine club, the Eastern Iowa Wine Club will host the 2nd annual Eastern Iowa Amateur Wine Competition in Vinton, Iowa (July 23-26). One of our goals for the competition is to make it a learning opportunity for the winemakers who receive their score sheet and comments from the judges (e.g., strengths, flaws/faults identified, and suggestions); and for the visitors who attend. In addition to ribbons for the top 3 finishers in each category, the judges will select the best 5 to receive gold medals, and one will be chosen as Best of Show. Additionally, after the judging, visitors receive their own evaluation form and are allowed to sample wines and pick their favorite "Peoples Choice Award". (Below is a list of the 2009 categories).

A new feature for this years competition/event will be Mini-Workshops designed to teach basic winemaking skills for beginners. Please join us at the Benton County Fairgrounds on July 23rd (6pm) for the public tasting and evaluation!

The 2009 Eastern Iowa Amateur Wine Competition Categories:

Class 1 – Grape Wine
1. Dry Red (Vinifera)
2. Dry White (Vinifera)
3. Sweet Red (Vinifera)
4. Sweet White (Vinifera)
5. Sparkling (grape)
6. Dry Red (Native/Hybrid)

7. Dry White (Native/Hybrid)
8. Sweet Red (Native/Hybrid)

9. Sweet White (Native/Hybrid)
10. Special Category: Marechal Foch - “Fochy Award”

Class 2 – Non-Grape Wines
1. Dry Fruit
2. Sweet Fruit
3. Dry Berry
4. Sweet Berry
5. Rhubarb
6. Dry Vegetable or Flower
7. Sweet Vegetable or Flower
8. Sparkling (non-grape)

Class 3 – Meads and Ciders
1. Dry Mead
2. Sweet Mead
3. Cider

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