The Judging Differential

The Judging Differential

The Bottle Shock Open differentiates itself from ALL OTHER competitions by our judging criteria and the educational notes that the entrant will receive.  Click here for an example of the detailed responses from our judges to each and every participant.

Our Philosophy

We feel it is extremely important that home winemakers who enter a wine competition actually get value for their efforts. This doesn’t mean everyone who enters gets a medal — far from it. What it means is that everyone gets a full, written, evaluation of the status of each of their wines. And this comes from each of the 3 judges on the panel.

Here is what the wine judges will do to provide our entrants with an exceptional evaluation of the wines they enter:

1) Core Judges will be limited to 50 wines per day.  In order to evaluate a wine and give comments in writing, it’s important that Core Judges have enough time to give these evaluations. There has to be a limited amount of wines to taste so judges don’t feel rushed. Just for a reference, in Commercial Competitions, judges will routinely judge 100 to 160 wines in one day. Okay for Commercial wines, but certainly not acceptable for Home Winemakers.

2) Time to discuss each wine. There needs to be enough time to discuss each wine from each member of the Panel. This is a learning experience designed to offer the most complete written, educational, evaluation for every wine. There is almost no judge that can say they are an expert on every wine and every problem. With discussion from other members of their Panel, Judges can learn to be even better judges while giving the entrant more complete notes.

3) Each judge will comment in writing on each wine they taste giving the good and/or bad points of each wine. The criteria that we are looking for is; a) that the judge gave the wine strong, positive notes and comments. b) If the wine does not score high, the judge will attempt to identify the problem, c) and, the hardest part, the judge attempts to offer solutions to solve the problem.  If the wine receives a Bronze Medal from the judges, the job of each judge on the Panel is to advise the home winemaker on how to make a Silver or Gold Medal winning wine next year.

4) Technology Advisory Panel. Obviously, some judges are more knowledgable because of their life experiences than others at evaluating and commenting on wines, so to insure more correct evaluations, advice, and to increase the knowledge of all Core Judges, there will be a selected group of winemakers called the Technology Advisory Panel. This panel of seven professional Technology Advisors will roam the tasting/judging room commenting, assisting and educating the Core Judges on wines that may need further technical assistance and advice. This panel will also evaluate wines that are sent from the other judging panels to give further technical advise to the Home Winemaker. This vital feedback will serve to educate and thereby improve the skills of the amateur winemaker and the quality of their wines.  No other Home Winemaking Competition has these experts roaming the judging floor to give assistance to the professional core judges and gives us The Judging Differential!

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Home Winemaking Competition