CONTEST CLOSED: Congrats to Michael for winning this prize pack!
Earlier in the month, I was invited to a press event where I got to sample some of the winning wines from the 2010 LA International Wine & Spirits Competition that was held in May 2010.
For those of you unfamiliar with this competition, it initially started shortly after the end of prohibition when the L.A. County Fair began awarding medals to the finest wines in California. Extra virgin olive oils, both domestic and international, were added as a category in 200 and in 2002, the competition opened its doors to wine entries from around the world. 2007 saw the inclusion of a spirits category as well. For 2010 alone, 16 countries were represented for a total of 3,169 entries. US led the pack with 2,298 entries followed by Canada and Italy, with 227 and 224 entries respectively.
Now for some fun facts about the actual competition and judging itself!
- 10,800 wine glasses and 240 champagne flutes were used during the Competition
- The glasses were washed FIVE times after each use
- 55,200 squeaky clean washings each day for three days equals 165,600 washings
- As many as 20 wine staff members at a time pitch in to wash glasses
- Glasses were never touched by hand; specially designed to be lint-free towels are used
- Towels are made of flour sack and are washed multiple times a day in very hot water; soap is never used
- More than 1,100 towels were used during the Competition
- Judges smelled, sipped, swirled and spat a minimum of 200 times daily
Photo taken from the Fairflex Photostream
CLEANSING PALATES TIPS
- For wine judging, palates are cleansed with rare roast beef, Graber olives, grapes and cheese
- For olive oil judging, palates are cleansed with Granny Smith apples, plain yogurt and baguettes
- For spirits judging, palates are cleansed with Graber olives, crackers and water
- 75 wine judges, with panels tasting approximately 100 wines a day
- Eighteen olive oil judges experienced the unique taste of 506 entries
- Twelve spirits judges made determinations on 214 entries
- Judges at the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition are the best in the world, averaging 25-30 years experience
- Wine judge Wilfred Wong tastes 6,000 to 8,000 wines a year. That’s an average of 21 wines a day!
The Competition also is the foundation for an extensive wine education program available to 1.4 million visitors at the L.A. County Fair at the Los Angeles Wine & Spirits Marketplace. Having begun public wine tasting in 1968, the Fair opened a wine education center in 1998, complete with consumer-driven classes, tastings and displays of the award-winning wines. With the L.A. International Wine & Spirits Competition committed to educating the public about wine, it features industry experts with extensive knowledge about wine growing and selection, wine tasting as well as wine and food pairings.
As mentioned, there will be Wine Education Seminars where each class will feature a minimum of 6 wines and each participant will receive a tasting ticket for a taste of a Gold Medal Winner at the International Tasting Bar. You'll also get to meet the leading authorities in the wine and olive oil business. The cost to participate is $170.00 per class. Updated information will be posted at this link as the dates get closer to the LA County Fair.
As for the Best of Show Winners, check out the list below. For a full list of winners, click here.
BEST OF SHOW - LIMITED PRODUCTION
Kiona Vineyards & Winery, Ice Wine - Chenin Blanc, jRed Mountain, 2008
BEST OF SHOW - WINE WORLD OF SPORTS
Lasorda, Chianti Classico, Tuscany DOCG, 2007
BEST OF SHOW - BORDEAUX COMPETITION
Château Montet, Bordeaux Rouge AOC France, 2008
BEST OF SHOW - BORDEAUX SUPÉRIEUR COMPETITION
Château Marac, Pourquoi Pas Moi, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge AOC France, 2005
BEST OF SHOW - RED $14.99 AND UNDER
Villa San Juliette, Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, 2008
BEST OF SHOW - RED $15.00 - $29.99
Armida Winery, Zinfandel, Poizin, Sonoma County, California, 2008
BEST OF SHOW - RED $30.00 AND UP
Prime Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Midoriya Hills Vineyard, Napa Valley, 2007
BEST OF SHOW – WHITE $14.99 AND UNDER
Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery, Pinot Blanc, Birch Canoe, Okanagan Valley VQA, 2008
BEST OF SHOW - WHITE $15.00 - $29.99
James Arthur Vineyards, Edelweiss, Nebraska, 2009
BEST OF SHOW - WHITE $30.00 AND UP
Dutcher Crossing Winery, Chardonnay, Stuhlmuller Vineyard, Alexander Valley, 2008
As you can see, the LA County Fairground, which is from September 4 to October 3, 2010 is definitely the place for a wine lover to be and noting that, let's talk about my giveaway!
The prize package will include the following:
- A variety of winning wines and spirits from this year's competition
- A pair of tickets to the upcoming LA County Fair
- Vouchers to the wine-tasting seminars at this year's fair.
Mandatory Entry #1 - Leave a comment and tell me which of the award winning wines you'd like to try if you could. For a full list of winners, click here. (Please leave your email so that I can contact you. Spell it out like abby at pleasurepalate dot com)
Optional Entry #2 - Follow LA Wine Competition on Twitter
Optional Entry #3 - Like LA Wine Competition on Facebook
Optional Entry #4 - Tweet: Enter to Win a $75 Gift Bag of wine, spirits and more from @LAWineComp via @pleasurepalate: http://bit.ly/dhAmrm
You can have up to 4 total entries each; however, please note that you have to comment back and let me know which of the actions you took, so that I can keep track of them. This is especially true for 2 through 4. If you don’t let me know which actions you took, then I won’t count them as entries.
Contest ends Thursday, July 1st at 11:59 AM, PST and a winner will be randomly chosen from all entries. Open only to California residents. Good Luck!