Its a different indicator. The wineries that submit to state fairs do not receive 97 pts from major publications. Generally speaking, the competition crowd and pro reviewer crowd are different sets. I do feel I have a better idea of a style of a wine based on a score paired with an individual reviewer, but I don’t use scores (or medals) to buy wine. As I’ve judged in competitions, I’ve tasted bottles that other panels thought were gold that I didnt agree with and vice versa. So, to answer your question, I don’t think it is less nor more an indicator of quality.
I actually brought home a bottle of Barefoot Perfectly Pink Rose’ from the grocery store last week. They had a tasting of several Barefoot wines and I thought this blend of Grenache and Moscato was rather appealing as a casual summer sipper at a low price point. One gentleman said it reminded him of his high school days and drinking Thunderbird (which I never drank) but I will see if I still find it appealing when I open it later this summer.
I don’t see exactly how we square two buck chuck winning a gold medal with gold medals not being a laughing stock whilst also with not going out and getting a case right away. I figure you gotta go one way or the other.
I don’t think golds are laughing stock nor really mean anything (Just like points). See TomHill’s post above…
I saw it. Liked it. I only took issue with that one li’l piece of it.
Well, then I think we agree more than we disagree!
I have given up on medals or points. I have found much more value in getting to know some of the members on this board, trying some of the wines they recommend, and seeing if I like them. Once I find that our palates pretty much match, I tend to try anything they recommend.
Problem for me now is I cant keep up.
I cut down my wine list this year substantially, but still bought heavily from less producers. next year I am going back to more producers but much fewer bottles from each. The recent chard thread got me to join liquid farms list and mayacamus, as posters in that thread compared them to other wines I buy and love.
Just more data points IMHO. Slam em if you like or if it makes you feel better, but as others gave said, for the most part, these really aren’t ‘aimed’ at the ‘wine geek’ crowd.
That said, I do believe that certain competitions, like the SF Intl Comp., may illuminate some hidden gems…
Or two. Makes it easier to break a $50.
UNOPPOSED? Where did that come from? To the contrary, Mike Dune checked for me and there were 53 (fifty three) sparkling wines entered in the competition. That means the Korbel topped all of them.
This seems to be what I experience on the retail end. To people who aren’t really into wine but buy a few bottles here and there, aside from a snazzy label, a sticker or back card about a gold medal seems to drive the sale home. I’ll be honest that I do find the stickers on things like Barefoot Moscato and Rex Goliath Cab that claim ‘Over 50 Gold Medals’ does make me chuckle when I see them.
I’d love to be blind tasted on Korbel Brut or Barefoot Moscato just to see how I objectively feel about those wines. I also know that if I were blind tasted on Barefoot Moscato in a lineup of Tennessee Muscadine wine it would probably score well. If I were blind tasted on Barefoot Moscato in a lineup of Sauterne, it would not score so well.
Okay, okay, it’s great stuff.
My “unopposed” comment came from “…I had the Korbel and the Barefoot in the sweepstakes round only. I don’t know how many sparklers were entered-and I don’t know who else entered.”. I understood this to mean it was the only sparkler in the sweepstakes round. No?
Okay, help me understand how picking out a wine (or wines) in a flight to move on to a flight of other winners is not pitting wines against each other.
Pitting wines against each other would be picking only one wine out of a pair, or a flight, to be the best. Assigning medals is supposed to be about judging a wine on its own inherent qualities (or lack thereof). Say, in a flight of ten wines, 4 could be determined to be gold and 6 no medal. There is no direct competition between any two wines, just assessing each wine on its own. Wines are organized in flights so that you don’t taste a riesling, a cab, a pinot, another riesling, a chardonnay and a late-harvest zin together. Then do the same thing with a different random set of wines. Just helps with one’s ability to focus their palate. And as I said before, this is all “in theory.” I’m sure judges will say one wine is a silver and another is better so it must be a gold. But the whole process is a lot different from the NFL playoffs or election season than I assume you think.
Well said Larry - I think this is a point missed by many. Our Chardonnay one Best In Class this year at the Sunset Int’l Wine Comp. Given my ‘wine geek’ tendencies, my first reaction was to shrug my shoulders. However as the results have played-out - that award has moved a lot of wine for us to the non-geek crowd. The average wine consumer - no matter if they are spending $5 or $500 - is always looking for a way to navigate thousands of choices they have at the grocery stores and wine shops; competitions and points are two popular tools consumers use to choose a bottle for dinner that night or stock their drinking shelf.
It’s great if your wine knowledge has grown past the need to rely on critics, but don’t knock the general wine buying public if they do - it’s their dollars which keep the large majority of the wine industry afloat.
And in some classes there are no gold medals. (Happens all the time)