Sixth Annual Palate Press Grand Tasting

The Sixth Annual Palate Press Grand Tasting will be held this year on November 7th, in the home of Palate Press Publisher David Honig. The Palate Press Grand Tasting is a unique wine competition, focused on finding fine wines consumers love, and structured to avoid some of the pitfalls of more common wine competitions, from too many categories and medals to palate-fatigued judges who need sugar and oak just to taste something on their 50th glass.

The guest list is invitation-only, bringing in 150-200 fine wine lovers and wine professionals. These guests are important, for they are not only wineries’ target market, they are also the jury for the competition. At the Palate Press Grand Tasting, guests taste all the wines blind (separated by varietal, but not price, vintage,or location), awarding scores from one to five stars. All the wine is self-poured in a cocktail party atmosphere, with food. Food, we believe, is part of how wine is usually consumed, so it should also be part of how it is judged.

After the guests have scored the wines, bottles are distributed to professional judges, who are asked to give scores (on a 100-point scale), tasting notes, and food pairing recommendations, all within about a week. This prevents palate fatigue and collaboration among judges. It also means we can produce scores, notes, pairings, and downloadable shelf talkers for every wine that wins a gold medal or more.

We only have three kinds of award in the Palate Press Grand Tasting, Gold Medal, Best of Show, and Palate Press Wine of the Year. On average, less than 20% of the more than 200 wines won Gold, and only four Best of Shows were awarded. There is no medal or grade inflation in the Palate Press Grand Tasting. We are looking for wines that stand out among their peers, not mass produced plonk in search of medals.

The price to enter wine is very low, really just enough to cover catering and judging costs, not to make a profit. Two bottles of each label submitted should be provided, allowing one for the blind tasting and another for the judges. Pricing is:

$25 First Label
$20 Second Label
$15 All Additional Labels

The Sixth Annual Palate Press Grand Tasting will be limited to the first 200 entries. To enter the competition, please fill out the form below. Please send wines early in the Fall, as soon as temperatures have dropped into the safe-shipping zone. We want to give the wines time to rest before the competition.


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