The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition http://www.fliwc.com is being held this weekend in Rochester, New York. Here's a look behind the scenes at the second largest wine competition in the United States.
The FLIWC is the largest North American wine competition held for, and by a charity. That charity is Camp Good Days and Special Times http://www.campgooddays.org, a not-for-profit organization that provides programs free of charge to children and their families who are battling cancer. Over 43,000 campers from 22 states and 28 foreign countries have attended the camp since 1979. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the FLIWC, and the resulting Wine Auction Dinner, go to benefit Camp Good Days.
|Wine in the Back Room|
Judges have a variety of backgrounds in the industry and include winemakers, sommeliers, enologists, importers, retailers, wine writers, bloggers, wine educators, and consultants. Those selected know wine, have a passion for it, and enjoy sharing it.
|L to R: Joy Neighbors, Eric Orange,|
Bonnie Villacampa and George Taber
Judging for the FLIWC takes place in one large room. Participants at each table discuss the wines after each judge has made a decision. Wines are judged in double blind flights, which means that the judges do not see the brand of wine or know where it came from.
Judging criteria for each wine includes the evaluation of its appearance, aroma, balance, varietal character, and finish. Each wine is judged for what it is at the time of the judging, not for how it might evolve and what it could become at a later time. All wines are served in Riedel crystal stemware in flights of eight.
Once the medals are decided, a select panel will review the winners in the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Ice Wine categories. From these winners, the "Best of the Best" will be decided on.
But there's more to this competition than judging and medals ...
|Unpacking Wines in the Snow|
|Setting Up the Wine Room|
|Tabulating the Results|
|Judges at Work|
|Taking in the Wines|
|Campers at Camp Good Days|
|Camp Good Days|
Here's to another successful competition, and another fantastic summer for the kids at Camp Good Days!