Thursday, June 24, 2010

GIVEAWAY: 2010 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition

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.

More ...

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
  • 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.

Kiona Vineyards & Winery, Ice Wine - Chenin Blanc, jRed Mountain, 2008

Lasorda, Chianti Classico, Tuscany DOCG, 2007

Château Montet, Bordeaux Rouge AOC France, 2008

Château Marac, Pourquoi Pas Moi, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge AOC France, 2005

Villa San Juliette, Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, 2008

BEST OF SHOW - RED $15.00 - $29.99
Armida Winery, Zinfandel, Poizin, Sonoma County, California, 2008

Prime Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Midoriya Hills Vineyard, Napa Valley, 2007

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

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.
Ways to Enter:

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:

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!



Chrissy said...

Hey Abby--I'll take a nice Mumm Rose everytime! I did all 4. Also worth noting that the LA County fair is 9/4 thru 10/4.

Chrissy C.

Anonymous said...

Call me naive but Nebraska makes wine?! Now I've gotta try that James Arthur Vineyards winner! Wonder how the flavors are different for a wine grown in that region...
(finerthingsla at gmail dot com)

pleasurepalate said...

Chrissy: The dates are 09/04 to 10/03 as noted on their website (

Kristina said...

Hi Abby - I would love to try the BEST OF SHOW - RED $14.99 AND UNDER
Villa San Juliette, Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, 2008 mostly because at that price, I can afford to drink it more than just once :-)

michael said...

Hi, I haven't been to the L A fair in years, and I like wine. Sounds like fun!


(Raftini at yahoo dot com)

sheila said...

Chianti Classico! Sounds good. Count me in.

Thank you

(cheilacarina at yahoo dot com)

Annalise said...

I would love to try the Desert Hills Estate Winery, Gamay! Sounds yummy! I did all 4 things to enter the contests. email is annaliserose at gmail dot com

Ian said...

I'm also intrigued by the Nebraska Edelweiss (though the environmentalist side of me isn't thrilled that it probably has to be trucked across the country to us in LA). But it sounds interesting! [ianmoore at gmail dot com]

lynne green said...

I'd like to try the Kiona Vineyards & Winery, Ice Wine - Chenin Blanc, jRed Mountain, 2008. Ice wine always sounds interesting to me.

I will also "like" the competition on Facebook.

lynnegreen2002 at yahoo dot com

lynne green said...

I also had a (non-contest) comment: Wilfred Wong is a real person? I always thought BevMo invented him. Is he in any of your pictures?

Lynda said...

I would love to try the Kiona Vineyards & Winery, Ice Wine!

[lyndagp at gmail dot com]

Lynda said...

i tweeted about the giveaway! [at oshkoshbgosh123]

Lynda said...

following LAWineComp on twitter now [at oshkoshbgosh123]

burumun said...

If I held a similar giveaway am I still allowed to enter? :p

Bcs I do want to try that Kiona ice wine .. or the Bordeaux ..

pleasurepalate said...

burumun: As far as I'm concerned, you can still enter, especially since you weren't able to go to the press event and get your own gift bag. :)

lynne: I don't know what Wilfred Wong looks like so I don't know if he's in any of the photos I posted.

Alishia said...

I've really been into sake - so I'd like to try Manabito, Kimoto Junmai Ginjo, Akita, Japan with my boyfriend. I've added on twitter (@Alyrizzo), liked on facebook (Alishia Rizzo) and tweeted the link as well. My email is boobootrixie at gmail dot com. Thank you.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Gift bag includes ice wine? I want! :)

Pickle said...

hello! i'd love to try the Terre Di San Venanzio Fortunato, Prosecco, Extra Dry, Valdobbiadene DOCG, 2009! it sounds really good! I did all 4 entries :). Thanks for this opportunity! Sounds fun (email: nkwong dot uci at gmail dot com)

Amber said...

The Feudi Imperiali, Limited Production, Catarratto sounds interesting. Love trying unique white wines.

I just did steps #2, 3, and 4 too (@Ambiggity)

amber dot bechtel at gmail dot com

Ernesto said...

I'd love to try the Ice Wine. I've tried a number of them before and would love to add another one to my repertoire. My email is Ernesto.Noblejas at gmail dot com.