Category Archives: Wine competitions

Lone Star International Wine Competition 2013

We saw the future of Texas wine during one of the championship flights at the 30th annual competition this week, where there wasn’t a chardonnay in sight. The five wines competing for best white from Texas were all outstanding, and each was worthy of winning — two Rhone blends, a viognier, a roussanne, and an albarino.

Can I write, finally and after 20 years, that Texas producers and growers have figured this thing out? More, after the jump:

2013 Colorado Governor’s Cup/AWS Competition

This year has been nothing short of a revelation for regional wine. First, there was the stunning quality of wines from the other 47 states in The Dallas Morning News and TexSom competition. Then, there was Maryland’s winning effort at this year’s Drink Local Wine conference.

Last weekend, there was Colorado’s exceptional performance at the annual Governor’s Cup. I tasted 100 wines, and almost none of them, to paraphrase one of the judges, was a drain dumper. It was easily the best showing from Colorado in the decade or so I have judged its wines.

The official results won’t be released for a month or so, so I don’t know the names of the winning wines (though I will update later). But there were still many highlights, which come after the jump:

The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition 2013

Midway during the second day of judging at this year’s event, one of the other judges smiled at me and said, “This must make you feel good.”

And it did. My panel was judging red wines from the United States made in places that weren’t California, Oregon, and Washington. And they had been – dare I say? – spectacular. We gave five silvers and a gold; the day before, we had awarded gold medals to chardonnays from Idaho’s Pend d’Oreille and Michigan.

The other judge, Paul Lukacs of Baltimore, knew about my work with DrinkLocalWine and my enthusiasm for regional producers. And, as someone who judges regularly, he also knew the quality of these wines can be uneven. And while we had some clunkers during the two-day event (we judged all regional wine), the overall quality was as good – if not better – than at any competition I have judged. There was even a nifty red from South Dakota’s Belle Joli made with the marquette grape. More, after the jump:

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