Green bean, parsnip, and dandelion…wine?!?
One of my hobbies is wine. Mostly drinking it but my husband also makes it so I have learned a bit along the way. So one of my favorite pre-Fair activities each year is helping to judge the wine entries for the Clark County Fair.
I am hanging out in the back room of Bader Bewing and Wine Supply who is kind enough to organize and host the Fair judging (they also host the beer judging). Steve Bader is quick to point out that this is more of a wine exhibition, not a wine competition. The goal is not to rank order every entry; instead the entries are grouped into one of three categories: Blue ribbon, red ribbon, or white ribbon. The main purpose of entering is to get honest, unbiased feedback. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to look a winemaker in the eye and say, “Ummmm….uhhhh…well….”
There were 85 entries tonight and 10 teams of judges. My judge partner and I tasted 10 wines including two ciders, a mead, and an ice wine. Most were in the “Ok but it needs work” category but a couple really blew us away.
Neither of Deb or I would consider ourselves fans of sweet wines but we were both drooling over a Semi-Sweet Strawberry Rhubarb wine and giddy over a Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. Others we tried prompted comments like “canned apricot juice” and “ashtray finish” and “cherry Tootsie Pop” and “candied pear with a Red Hot finish.” Yeah, ok, fine. I eat a lot of candy so that’s my dominate flavor profile.
My favorite part of the annual wine judging is when we are all done and then we get to attack the stash of open bottles and try anything and everything. Not surprisingly, I am not a fan of dandelion mead. The parsnip wine smelled really good but tasted a bit bitter. The green bean dessert wine was…amazing. It wasn’t green, it wasn’t beany. It was just a nicely balanced sweet wine that I would have guessed was made from a Riesling grape. And the apple pie a la mode dessert wine doesn’t smell great but it tastes just as advertised. And it makes a nice wine to blog to.