And the wine winner is…
Well, that was fun!
A few of the 25-ish judges are still milling around, chatting about wine making and fruit sources and the differences between meads and wine.
My team of 3 wine enthusiasts judged 11 wines tonight. My least favorite was a Merlot-Syrah Rose that tasted and smelled of honey and sweatsocks. Eww. My highest score (15 out of 20) went to a Raspberry Mead that had a really nice balance of honey and fruit. I also happily finished my glass of a Black Cherry Pinot Noir. It was more Black Cherry than Pinot but that turned out to be a very good thing.
A dear friend, Byron, joined us in judging several years ago. He quickly learned a life philosophy of “Beware of alcohol in Mason jars.” Byron, you will be happy to know your philosophy held true tonight. The Peach Orange Rum pictured below (next to a Blackberry Cider) had an overpowering aroma of artificial bananas and pineapple — think Tropical Fruit Trident gum. It burned my nose every time I smelled it. Although, when I held my nose while sipping it, it wasn’t too bad. However, that’s a rather tricky and not entirely recommended way to “enjoy” a beverage.
Some of the other more unique offerings I sampled after the judging finished:
- Corn Whiskey Wine — a yellow liquid that reminded me of a sweeter Nyquil
- Honey Barley Malt Wine (called a Braggot) — a really nice beer. I’d brag about it if I made it.
- Dry Sparkling Ginger Cider — it was much better than the Blackberry Cider I judged (it was too salty and didn’t have any fruit flavor). It was light and tasted appropriately of…ginger.
Steve Bader, the awesome owner of Bader Beer & Wine Supply, runs the Clark County Fair Wine Exhibition (he clarified tonight that the way the judging goes here, it is better described as an exhibition than competition). He very kindly gave me permission to reveal the highest scoring wine of the night. Drum roll….
A Sweet Boysenberry Wine crafted by Dan and Karen Payne, coming in at 16.67 points. I just sampled it. It was quite tasty. I finished every last drop. Congratulations, Dan and Karen!