The 2017 Mid-American Wine Competition was held July 14-16, 2017, in Ankeny Iowa, and focused on wines of the Midwest. Past competitions were open to commercial wineries of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
This competition not only judges wines against other wines, it also provides the opportunity for wineries to have their wines judged against carefully selected food-friendly dishes. The Mid-American Wine Competition is the first in the United States to offer this format.
“Typically wine competitions judge wines only against other wines, and typically the biggest wine wins. But wine is supposed to be consumed with food. So we are going to judge these wines in a setting more conducive to wines of balance, and by judging the wines in a setting more receptive to wines of balance, and by judging the wine with food, we think we will see a different outcome than the usual ‘bigger is better’ response,” noted Chief Judge Doug Frost.
The Chief Judge for the Mid-American Wine Competition is noted wine expert and veteran wine judge, Doug Frost of Kansas City. Frost is one of only three people in the world to earn the title of both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier. Frost noted that while many American wine competitions are open to the wines of the Midwest, no competition focuses primarily on these wines. “While wines from the Midwest have grown in prestige and success in national wine competitions, we believe that by focusing strictly upon the wines of our region, we can bring to greater prominence the best of the area, and identify up and coming success stories as well.”
The competition is held on the campus of the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, which is just north of Des Moines. The college has the longstanding Iowa Culinary Institute which provides the infrastructure for the competition.
The Competition director is Bob Foster, founder and first director of the San Diego National Competition. Foster has been a wine judge and competition director for over 25 years, and also directs the Monterey International Wine Competition. He is a long-time wine judge for the Missouri State Fair Wine Competition and the Jefferson Cup Wine Competition held each year in Kansas City. Foster noted that, “There are some terrific wines from this region and we believe that a Midwest competition will showcase these fine efforts and encourage all of the wineries to continue to improve.” Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, Iowa State University Extension enologist is a technical adviser to the competition and also serves as one of the wine judges.
All bonded wineries in the Mid-America region are invited to enter. Any winery needing additional information may contact the competition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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