Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

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Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby Howie Hart » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:04 pm

Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:51 pm

That is a pretty fair article Howie. I, for one, do not pay any attention to the results and am not influenced by the stickers on the bottle. In fact, in my neck of the woods, I wonder if any of the local punters are too?
Seems to me most wine producers have to pay to enter competitions. `Nough said eh.
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Re: Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby David Creighton » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:11 pm

well, i've only judged at a few competitions. but at none of them would a wine with a gold 2 silvers and a bronze get a gold. the panel chair would write down Silver and not even ask for discussion. a wine would have to get two golds and another 'high silver' to even have a chance of going up. there are of course different kinds of competitions. here we have a state competition - the wines must all be from grapes grown in the state. the winemakers have been insistent that they want the judges to be tough. it might be against their own interests but they want the medals to mean something.

apparently in europe you turn in your score or vote and 'the statisticians sort it out'. If this means that there can be no discussion then i don't see it. i can often learn from someone else and people are kind enough to same about me. and i'm not certain that a statistical analysis of the scores is really a more reliable expression of the panels opinion than their own agreed upon award.
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Re: Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby Thomas » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:41 pm

I agree with David. I've never judged where a Gold, 2 Silvers, and a Bronze would become a Gold--not unless the guy who gave the Gold has a gun.

As for the article, it has its pluses. In fact, I stopped judging wine after two separate incidences at two separate competitions where the panel I was on was berated for not awarding enough Gold Medals. Unfortunately, many competitions seem to have become nothing more than marketing theater.

Having said that, I don't believe statistical is any better than consensus scoring. The wide range of judging abilities on panels produces conflicting scoring quite often. Consensus is the best way to sort that out. Consensus is also a way to reduce the effect of personal bias.
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Re: Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby Hoke » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:53 pm

Agree with David and Thomas---I've done one hell of a lot of competitions over my career (still doing them occasionally) and that spread of results would never generate a solid gold. The only hope would be for the gold-giving judge to be so loquacious and convincing that he/she convinced all the other judges to raise their scores...and I don't see that happening.

I've done just about every type of competition and I personally value the consensus type more ---given a firm set of rules under which the judges operate, that is.

I learn something of value every time I do a consensus judging, and feel that type of award better reflects the wine anyway. One palate tells us that one person liked it. Multiple nods from multiple palates tells us there is enough in a wine to command attention; I think wine that is more complex will appeal to a wider range of palates, especially if the judges are good, and professional,

When I taste a wine in competition, I'm perfectly happy to hear Darrell Corti, or the late great David Graves, or Rebecca Chapa, or Jason Brandt Lewis, or Tim McDonald...well the list goes on...expound about how the wine impressed them. It's not about me, after all: it's about the wine.

I've even tasted with Thomas, and I'd always listen carefully to what he has to say about a wine, as he has a sensitive, perceptive and well-tuned palate. Wouldn't always agree with him, of course (and don't tell him, but sometimes he's downright full of it), but I'd certainly want to hear what he has to say.

And, yeah, been nudged---and pointedly nudged---for more medals now and then. I just ignore that. If they don't like me, they won't invite me back.
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Re: Interesting thoughts on wine competitions

Postby Thomas » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:48 pm

Hoke wrote:
If they don't like me, they won't invite me back.

This sensitive palate has had that happen too ;)
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