Posts Filed Under wine industry events
Getting serious during the OWE 2018 Best of Show judging round
The results of the 2018 Oregon Wine Experience Competition are in and have recently been announced, and since I was more-or-less directly responsible for said results, I thought that I’d share some of them with you all here.
Before I do, however… a couple of thoughts/insights/dime-store-philosphocal-treatise on the experience of the OW Experience:
- Wildfires suck; we hardly saw a clear, smoke-free day during the competition, and while the ever-present used-fireplace smell is somewhat pleasant, the destruction behind it all certainly isn’t anything short of tragic, and major props are due to the firefighters who shared my flights into and out of Medford for their difficult, tireless work in fighting the recent blazes.
- There’s (much) more to Oregon than Willamette Valley. Duh. Southern Oregon is a lot smaller in volume, less developed in both land and sense of place, warmer in climate, and diverse in potential vinous offerings than its more famous northern wine AVA siblings. What should have wine geeks excited and giddy is that the premium fine wine scene in S. OR is really just getting its groove on, and the results are ridiculously promising already. The fact that the region is probably among the top ten most beautiful wine country settings in the world is just icing on the cake. To wit…
- You’ll see a lot more coverage of some key S. OR producers here over the coming weeks, because I found their stories – and their development in wine quality – quite compelling. More to come.
Anyway, here are some of the wines that wowed our judging panels at the 2018 OWE Competition…
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We can surely file this one in the I-still-can’t-believe-that-I’ve-fooled-everyone-for-so-long pile: I’ve been asked to judge yet another wine competition. This time, it’s the 2018 incarnation of The Oregon Wine Competition, part of the more comprehensive Oregon Wine Experience, taking place August 20-26, 2018 in Jacksonville, OR, and benefiting Asante Foundation and Asante’s Children’s Miracle Network.
Historically, 100+ Oregon wineries have participated in this event, which makes it one of the (if not the) best ways to get a deep dive into the state (see what I did there?) of the entire OR wine scene.
I’m looking forward to getting my mouth (and the rest of me) back in OR, and to putting the competition’s 100% Oregon AVA wines under the palate microscope (palmiscope?). In that latter regard, I’ll be joining five distinguished members of the wine biz who are also judging, and most of whom have much more impressive initials after their surnames than I do.
For those of you reading this who have OR wine that they’d like to enter, here are the pertinent details. (note that only wines composed of 100% grapes grown in officially-recognized Oregon AVAs, with TTB-approved labels, and produced by Oregon-licensed wineries are eligible).
The rest of you lushes who are thinking of getting in on the action can purchase tickets to this everything-Oregon event, and maybe come and heckle me while I’m working.
[ Editor’s note: Yes, I realize that tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the USA. No, I don’t feel compelled to write about wine pairings for it, because that topic has been covered, and covered, and covered, and covered, and covered already. If you’re really jonesing for Turkey Day wine help, see previous coverage of that here on 1WD, all of which is still relevant. ]
Every once in a while, I get asked to do really cool things, like judge wine competitions alongside bright, interesting, qualified people who, for reasons that I still don’t fully understand, consider me a peer.
Evan Goldstein, MS, surveys the room during the AWoCA 2017 judging
Such was the case a couple of months ago, when my friend Evan Goldstein (and his Full Circle Wine Solutions biz) asked if I’d be interested in judging the 2017 incarnation of the Anual Wines of Chile Awards, held this hear in his native San Francisco. I’ve worked with Evan and FCWS a few times before, who are top-notch, and we know that Evan knows his shiz when it comes to South American wines in general, so of course I said Hellz Yeah to that.
The winners of the 2017 AWoCA (now in its 14th incarnation) were recently announced at an event in Washington DC, and so I am now officially able to share highlights of the results with you.
What I found most exciting during the unfolding of the AWoCA competition, even more so than the high quality of Chile’s vinous wares in general, was how well Chile’s much-touted diversity was on full, 4KHD-tuned-to-vibrant-color-settings display in the wines that were entered…
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All smocked up and ready to go
By the time that you read these words, the results of the 37th (!!) annual San Francisco International Wine Competition should be publicly available, so I thought that I would share some of the highlights among the event’s big winners.
The SFIWC is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Under the watchful eyes of Executive Director Anthony Dias Blue and Director of Judging Tim McDonald, SFIWC assembles a top-notch volunteer crew and some of the best and most experienced tasters in the U.S. wine biz (and yes, I’m still trying to figure out why they keep inviting me to judge).
That large, talented team happens to be chock full of some of the funniest, liveliest, and kindest people in wine, and so it’s a real pleasure to interact, work, and generally just break bread with all of those folks.
Sweepstakes and super tasting require smocks, not capes…
We also happen to taste some killer juice over that weekend, all done blind within categories, in panels of 3-4 people, with “super tastings” and an eventual sweepstakes round to help determine the best-of-the-best. It’s from that latter category – the wines fully deserving of having Tenacious D’s To Be The Best as their theme song – that I draw my personal competition highlights…
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