Well, actually, wine drinkers without any "professional" wine experience. The 6th Annual Consumer Wine Awards in being held on March 22, 2014 in Lodi, a joint effort of the Lodi-Tokay Rotary and Diversity Wine Awards. The only known wine competition of it's kind, this is a wine competition judged strictly by wine consumers outside of the wine trade.
No professional wine judges, winemakers, distributors, bloggers, wine geeks, wine journalists, sommeliers, wine store owners, etc....just the average American (and Canadian) wine drinker. It is easy to apply for "evaluator" status, by simply going to www.surveymonkey.com/s/CWA2014 and taking the short survey to discover your vinotype. When selected as an evaluator, be prepared to spend the day in Lodi, where you will evaluate wines in a morning or afternoon tasting panel. For the first time this year, you will have the opportunity to spend some time with Tim Hanni MW, author of Why You Like The Wines You Like: Changing how the world thinks about wine, in a seminar where he will present some sensory evaluations, and wine and food unpairings. At the end of the day, an after-party will be held, free for the evaluators and open to the public for a small fee. It is here that you will get to discover the wines you judged and see just how diverse the options were.
This year, evaluators will be able to choose the category of wines they wish to sample, with the idea that you should be judging a wine style you are comfortable with and enjoy, as opposed to experimenting to see what else you like. It is this philosophy that lures the wineries to enter this competition: wines judged not by trained wine experts, but "experts who like you wine."
Why hold a wine competition judged by untrained industry professionals? In the words of Tim Hanni MW,
"To empower the consumers to demand that wine selections be customized to their personal sensitivities and values, while re-educating the wine and hospitality industry to be able to better serve their customer, and eliminate the preponderance of misinformation, myth and lore."
To be part of this ongoing research into vinotyping and sensory evaluations, take the short survey now. Wine consumers from all across the US and Canada are encouraged to apply and attend this one wine competition focused solely on the opinions of the wine consumer. To learn more about vinotyping, go to www.myvinotype.com, or to www.amazon.com to order Tim's book. See you in Lodi!