Olive Oil Competition Also Begins – Entries Up 100% Over Last Year
More than 87 of the world’s top wine experts gather today for the start of the L.A. County Fair Wines of the World competition. With more than 3,900 entries to sample, the three-day event promises to be both a challenge and a unique opportunity for these judges to taste an amazing selection of wines from around the world in an extensive list of categories.
The panel of judges is impressive, and includes nationally known journalists, Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, and key members of the wine trade. During the event, each judge is responsible for tasting more than 100 wines per day and determining Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners in an impressive 20 categories.
“To improve the judges’ accuracy in evaluating the wines and selecting medal recipients, the fair’s tasting program is specifically developed to allow judges the opportunity to rest their palates,” points out Dr. Robert Small, chairman of the wine competition. “A lot is at stake. A medal in the competition can drive a tremendous increase in a wine’s retail sales.”
Throughout the competition each wine is given a code, which is applied to the wine glasses and filled with the appropriate wine. Only these coded glasses are placed in front of the judges to ensure an unbiased decision. Each judge tastes and rates the wine independently. When all the wines of a certain category have been evaluated individually, then open discussion between judges follows as strengths, weaknesses and overall quality are debated and medal recipients are determined.
To make it easy for consumers to learn about wine, the competition Web site at www.fairplex.com/wine2003 has been expanded to provide fun and interesting facts about wine. Full details on judges, history, categories and previous winners are also available on the Web site. Chairman Small adds to the content with his own wine tips and insight into the competition and outlining step-by-step what judges go through to determine the medal winners for the Wines of the World competition. He also explains how to set up a wine tasting event at home (complete with a downloadable tasting mat, similar to those used in official competitions).
Winners will be announced at the end of the competition on Friday, May 16. They will be displayed and samples will be available for a nominal charge at the L.A. County Fair, which takes place September 12-28.
For the fourth year in a row the Olive Oils of the World competition also begins today; winners are chosen by a panel of experts from the California Olive Oil Commission. To avoid being swayed by the oil’s color, which does not affect quality, judges use blue glasses, according to international olive oil tasting standards. New this year, all wine and olive oil entries are automatically entered into the Wine Packaging Design competition.
The L. A. County Fair Wines of the World competition is the largest and most prestigious of its kind in the U.S. A true community event, the L.A. County Fair brings together the best of California for the residents of Southern California. For further information about the L.A. County Fair Wines of the World competition, please visit our Web site at: http://www.fairplex.com/wine2003/index.asp.