The Shootout Process Is Uniquely Different

Affairs of the Vine’s Wine Shootout Process…Distinctly Different

Our Wine Shootouts are incredibly comprehensive and focused tastings of select varietals (Pinot Noir, Cabernet and Rhone varietals), 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, viticulturalists, and include wine loving, educated consumers. We believe our tasting panels are the most diverse and well rounded in the industry.

Our judges utilize their experience and expertise in tasting and evaluating the wines. We provide them with Aromatic Descriptors for each varietal created by Affairs of the Vine and two wonderful new 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. (Double blind tasting method.
  • 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 at the Pinot Noir Summit, The Cabernet Challenge, and The Rhone Shootout. Prior to the Shootout Finals, the wines are placed into flights and evaluated by teams of judges over a period of six to twelve weeks. The top wines selected are then submitted to the final tasting panels for review. Each panel tastes only 32 wines.
  • Top wines selected by our professional judging panel are presented in focused consumer events.
  • The Cabernet Challenge travels to different locations in the U.S. in the first quarter of each year and focuses on the top wines selected by our panel of judges in a blind tasting where consumers get to taste the wines and vote for their favorites. Results of the Cabernet Shootout are posted prior to The Cabernet Challenge with blog postings detailing the consumer reaction and preferences to the wines.
  • The Pinot Noir Summit, a blind tasting by a group of wine loving consumers is held in the San Francisco Bay area each year in late February or early March. The wine lovers select their favorites. Results of the Pinot Noir Shootout & Summit are posted on the Affairs of the Vine website following the Pinot Noir Summit.
  • The Rhone Shootout, celebrated it’s first year in 2012 and included a blind tasting by wine loving consumers, a tasting of amazing Rhone varietals poured by the wineries that produce them, lots of good food, and some great music. The Romancing the Rhone Shootout event was held at The Old Mint in San Francisco on July 14th. The wine lovers selected their favorites and challenged the palates of our professional judging panel

Other distinguishing points…

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

Wine Shootout Archives

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