Entering Competitions: Tips from the Pros

Your friends and family think your homemade wines are the best, but are they right? The best way to find out is to enter your wine in a competition. Wine competitions can also be a good way to gain feedback on wines that you may think are flawed, but you’re not sure what went wrong. In this issue, three wine judges share their advice for avoiding common mistakes when entering competitions. Mitch Gibson is a member of the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Growing Association. He has graduated from American Wine Society’s wine judging training program, and is currently studying to become a Certified Specialist in Wine through the Society of Wine Educators.  Some of the flaws I see most often when judging wines include trapped gas (CO2) in wine kits, although, I would add that a lack of nose (aroma/bouquet) and lack of tannic structure (reds) are areas of concern (occasionally). With wines made from grapes, fruits, vegetables and/or flowers it generally falls into two categories: oxidation and/or cork taint. Before you enter a competition, first, read the entry