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East Coast Wine Geeks Wine of the Year, 2011. AS JUDGED BY ME!! ME!!

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How do you pick just one....

For the second year in a row, I was lucky enough to be asked to judge the East Coast Wine Geek’s Wine of Year contest. And this is very smart of them. If there are two things I am really good at it’s drinking and being judgey.

If you aren’t familiar with the Geeks, it’s a group of five lovely people who like to drink wine and then tape themselves. I did this with somewhat disasterous results in previous blogs, but they seem to make it work. They all have different styles and favorites, so when they come together to judge a wine, hilarity and violence often ensue (just kidding. there is rarely violence).

At the end of the year, each of them pick their favorites, they assemble their judges, and we all decend upon Kavic’s Winery in Carnegie to pick the winner.

This being my second year, I felt like the seasoned professional, regardless of the fact that I know nothing about wine other than that fact that I love to drink it. Be that as it may, I managed to be dead on with the winner last year, the spicy and sexy Spice Route Pinotage (good luck getting it in the state of Pennsylvania. You can’t. Literally. Casey bought every bottle in the entire state and had it shipped here for our anniversary).

I found out that a dear friend of mine, the fabulous Father Spoon from Should I Drink That, was also a judge. He is a craft beer expert, but he and his wife had recently purchased a box of Franzia, so he fancied himself ready to do this. We might be amateur whatever it is you call people who drink a lot of wine, but we know good. We were ready.

When you are judging a wine contest, you aren’t allowed to know what wine you are drinking. Also, they give you little shot glasses of wine. Which is horse shit. Remind me to write a strongly worded letter to the Geeks for next year. How am I supposed to drink a SHOT GLASS of wine? Do you have any idea how hard it is to grab a shot glass and NOT down it like a shot? Try sipping wine out of a shot glass. It’s hard. It’s like trying to sneeze with your eyes open. It’s UNNATURAL.

This is what we in the biz call a 'tease'.

I got through it though. Me and Father Spoon. We sip each shot glass of wine and fill out a sheet describing each wine’s color, aroma, taste, and dismount. Wait. That might be gymnastics. Either way, I judged. And even though I am not formally trained in wineology, I put a lot of thought into it.

I must have done okay, because not only did I get the first place wine right, I got the second place wine right, too. BOOOO-YA! Here is a picture of me with the winners:

It's like the drunk Olympics.

A red, Elements by Artesa, won the day. It’s part Sonoma Valley, part Napa Valley, 100% insanely good. I have already consumed a few bottles in the days since. Just to make sure I had it right. Second place was Mumm Napa, a bubbly white from Napa. California wines took the day, which was just fine with me. I love Sonoma and Napa and have I mentioned that I’m running this?

I hope the Geeks ask me back for next year. I had such a good time, as I always do, and I found a few more wines to love, which is always a good thing. If you’re looking for some new vinos to try, I suggest you check out their podcast. If you’re not looking for new wines to try, why in the hell are you reading this post? ; )

Yours in shot glasses of wine,



3 responses »

  1. Great job Ruhe!! I believe that tasting wine out of a shot glass would be quite the challenge, although I have drank it out of worse.

    Mumm is delicious , not a huge fan of the Artesa though. The Artesa, Elements is a blend of Cab but is primarily Cab Sauv. What is the other Cab grape used in this blend and why do they attempt to keep this a secret? I am aware of the Cab Sauv. being the lead grape in the blend and I think it is actually at a high enough percentage to be solely considered a Cab Sauv. Oh hell what am I talking about , damn right I would drink the shit out of it! I just probably wouldn’t pay for it, classy!l

    Anyway I really did enjoy the blog. I must confess my mouth is watering and I have a strange craving for cheese.


  2. Hmmm…I”m running my first half in September. But this one is in pretty, pretty wine country, with WINE and YOU! How could I resist a chance to meet up and drink and run with my favorite cousin? [Note to all my other cousins: Actually, *you’re* my favorite!]


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