Have you ever wondered if your homemade wines are any good? You may share them with your friends and family and they may tell you they are wonderful. But are they really? Would you really expect your friends tell you that your wine tastes like a bad mouthwash? I know my friends and family would not want to hurt my feelings. I'm sure the same is true for yours. So do you rely on your own palate? Even if you are truly honest with yourself and your wine tastes pretty good to you, how about to someone else? Someone who has been tasting and exploring the world of wine all their life; would it taste as good to them? What would be their real feedback on all your efforts?
Last year I decided to take the plunge and see what "the real world" actually thought of my wines. I decided to enter my various projects in an amateur winemaking competition. I thought about some local options, but I figured that if I was truly going to learn anything I needed to go big. So what did I do? I entered my wines in the largest international amateur winemaker competition. I entered seven of my homemade wines in WineMaker's annual competition. What happened? I ended up with one bronze, two silver, and two gold medals. Nice. But what was even better, I received tasting notes on every wine from each judge. For me, although the medals are great and provide a pat on the back that I am on the right track with my home winemaking, the tasting notes provided insight — especially with those wines that didn't qualify for a medal — of what may need to be improved.
The lineup of wines I entered in the WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition
This year I have entered eleven different wines for the competition . I have made some improvements, I believe. I am really looking forward to the judges' feedback. This year my wife and I decided to take the trip and deliver the wines in person and make a weekend of it. I was curious to meet the people behind WineMaker magazine. Those that I communicate from time to time with via emails, as I write this blog. Well my wife and I ended up meeting them, along with nearly the entire staff, including the owner. So how are the people behind WineMaker magazine? Well, let me say this: When I let them know that my wife and I were planning to come in person to drop off the entries, it was suggested that we come around 4 p.m.; as they typically break a bit early on Fridays and have a glass of wine or beer together. That is my kind of place to work!...