I'm quite happy with the showing, since this was only the second batch of mead I ever attempted. I was a bit disappointed that my raspberry melomel didn't place, but I think I know why. The judges are wine experts to varying degrees, and most folks I've met who are really into wine tend to view sweetness with contempt. My melomel was about as sweet as a white zin, and coupled with the strong raspberry flavor, that was enough to turn them off. I'll know better next time.
I found it fascinating looking over the other entries. The vast majority, as expected, were mustang grape wines. Most were red, but a few were white (which is what I'd attempt if I ever tried mustang grapes). There were also a couple of bottles from European varietals, which made me wonder where the winemaker got his grapes, since Pierce's Disease wreaks havoc on those grapes in Texas. There was one bottle of pear wine, one of peach wine and a whole lot of agarita wines submitted. One of the agarita wines won best of show in the non-grape division, and other agaritas earned ribbons. That, of course, made me curious about them and want to taste. The biggest problem I had with the way things were set up was that all the bottles were anonymous, even after the judging was complete. I'd love to be able to talk shop with some of these other wine makers and maybe trade bottles of our craft back and forth, but no can do. If nothing else, I wish the winners would blog about their wines so I could reach them that way, but thus far Technorati and Google are turning up nil.
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