Forty judges sat down to sip and evaluate 425 wines Saturday morning during the judging of the 2011 Go Western Gala & SALE Wine Competition. Last year was the first such competition and the judging took place at the Stock Show & Rodeo grounds on East Houston Street.
All of the wines were domestic and were arranged in categories that ranged from Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay to red blends, Merlots and dessert wines. Each table of judges evaluated different categories, appraising the wines for clarity,, color, aroma, taste, balance and overall impression.
Judges also traditionally spit out the wine, since they need to keep their heads clear, as well as their palates, while going through dozens of different wines.
“We really worked on the organization this year,” said Melina Mastrojohn, who gave us a glimpse of the staging area off the tasting room. A small army of volunteers kept the flights (trays of glasses of wines) moving swiftly and surely to the correct table of judges. Each section of the staging area supplied wines to specific table of judges, which was one way the organizers streamlined the competition.
“It went very smoothly,” said Valarie Spiser-Albert, a judge and owner of WINE — a fine wine shop at 7271 Wurzbach Road #117.
The winners will be announced later and will be featured during the Go Western Gala, which benefits the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo scholarship program, on Jan. 15.