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August 23, 2007


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I think it's important to question competitions, ratings, etc. As a retailer, I know that the numbers and medals sell wines and that's great. But at the same time, I don't put a whole lot of trust or faith in these things.

Lenn, I think you caught a little too much heat considering that this is your blog, your domain, and your thoughts. The critiques indicate to me that your blog has become an important meeting point for those interested in NY wines, and therefore people are trying to hold you to a higher standard. It's flattering even if it's hard to deal with at times!

Generally, I agree that the Classic results seem not to represent the balance of opinion about the quality of various wines and wineries in NY (I'm speaking mostly for the Finger Lakes here). In addition, I'm completely unaware as to how many wineries bother to submit wines. If it's true that many high-quality wineries refuse to participate, it could be also be true that the Classic is unable to be what it claims to be. In other words, it's a competition that produces results that are not indicative of the NY wine industry as a whole.

I probably need more information to call that a firm conclusion, but I think it's a very important point/question.

As a Finger Lakes guy, I'm willing to consider that there is a "bias" or a "suspicion"--or whatever the heck you want to call it--toward FL wine. There are innumerable reasons why a bias might exist, and I'm not going to say it's impossible that it sneaks in here and there. One may consider the word bias to mean absolute prejudice, but I think that bias can mean that one holds a high esteem for something and will, as is human nature, give it more of a benefit of a doubt. To point toward such a predilication is really not the end of the world.

Yes, and I agree, living in Syracuse, that the Red Barn thing is really whacky. Is it hard to get barrels of processed juice in the door when the lake-effect snow has piled up three feet hight in the parking lot? What asphalt or old rail line in Liverpool do they grow their grapes upon?

"should a winery that appears to only make dessert and fruit wine from purchased juice, really deserve to be "Winery of the Year" in one of the nation's emerging wine regions?"

You sound dead right here.

And, holding it in Napa! Hello? (And, I didn't even know about that until I read it afterwards, here.)

Why not hold it in Barossa next year?

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