The Five Most Difficult Things about Judging Wine Competitions
“Actually, it’s not as cushy a job as you think….You really need to be able to concentrate at will and work through some pretty significant palate fatigue,” I said to the incredulous seatmate while flying down to Southern California to judge at the Riverside International Wine Competition.
And yet, even after working through flights of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Meritage and Zinfandel today, I have to admit that my incredulous seatmate is right. Judging at a wine competition is a pretty cushy job.
I think a lot of judges at wine competitions would have the same initial reaction that I did upon hearing the response from someone who was just told, “to judge a wine competition.” We are being defensive because we take this cushy work pretty seriously. And we should take it seriously. But still, we aren’t digging ditches.
Having said all that, here are the..
TOP FIVE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS ABOUT JUDGING AT A WINE COMPETITION
1. Giving that 15th 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon the same due you gave the first one.
2. Realizing you screwed up upon hearing that your fellow judges all gave a wine a “no medal” and you gave it a gold.
3. Not getting to excited and effusive with your praise upon being presented with a sweet white wine to judge after sitting through panels of young Cabernet and Merlot.
4. Continuing to concentrate after the tipsiness sets it on that 75th wine.
5. Not getting annoyed so at the anonymous winemaker behind an anonymous Chardonnay who should have known better and not submitted a wine so flawed that it completely sullied the palates of the judges.