Rhone Shootout & Romancing the Rhones Process…Distinctly Different

The Rhone Shootout is a comprehensive and focused tasting of Rhone wines, utilizing a diverse tasting panel comprised of wine industry professionals from varying disciplines including restaurant and retail trade, winemakers, wine writers, wine bloggers, wine educators, and viticulturalists.

Our judges utilize their experience and expertise in tasting and evaluating the wines. We provide them with Aromatic Descriptors for Rhone wines created by Affairs of the Vine, Fred Swan of Norcal and two additions to our repertoire provided to us by Walter Vornbrock III. His amazing Aromatic Wine Quadrant and Organoleptic Wine Quadrant are invaluable (Organoleptic refers to sensory properties).

The process and manner utilized by Affairs of the Vine for assessing and judging entries is unique within competitions in that it employs the following procedures:

All wines are tasted blind. (How could you ever do it differently?)

All wines are tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price.

Each wine is judged and reviewed on its own merit.

All wines are tasted by at least two tasting panels before the finals.

A maximum of 32 wines is tasted per day – four flights of eight wines each. We have arrived at this formula and find that in this format, each wine can be tasted with clarity and concentration without palate fatigue.

The wines are rated using a 100 point scale. Copious notes are required. The notes and the ratings must have continuity or the scores are not recorded.

Although we would prefer not to use a point system to rate the wines, we have not come up with an alternative method that allows us to select the top wines that are tasted by our final panel and those tasted during the blind tasting at Romancing the Rhones.

For the Rhone Shootout Finals, the wines were placed into flights and evaluated by teams of judges over a period of six weeks. The top 96 wines selected were submitted to three final tasting panels for review. Each panel tasted only 32 wines.

Top wines selected by the professional judging panel will be presented at Romancing the Rhones, a blind tasting by a group of wine loving consumers to be held at The Old Mint in San Francisco on July 14, 2012. The wine lovers will select their favorites. Results will be posted on the Affairs of the Vine website following the Romancing the Rhones event.

All wines reviewed indicate a numerical score and are recommended “from the heart” with the additional reference of heart‘s designating the following:

heartheartheartheart = Love at First Sip
heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember
heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories

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