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Int'l Value Wine Awards — the finals

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I'll keep this update brief — I think a couple of days away from the Wine Access International Value Wine Awards will give me a chance to reflect on the event as a whole and will provide some perspective. Suffice to say that the event has been impeccably organized — 1200 wines were poured over the course of the last five days, about a quarter of which crossed this pooped palate.

Yesterday and today were the finals judging — the best of the first three days made it through, were grouped with similar wines and tasted blind yet again. The wines fared universally better, although there were some problematic groups — my panel struggled with some mediocre Pinot Noirs, for example, while another table seemed to get quite a few good ones. But that's the nature of the competition - wines are dispersed, evaluated, and scored, and the numbers all work themselves out in the wash.

I'll be glad to get back home and peruse the results of the tastings (judges are given their scores/notes when they leave, at least for the preliminary rounds). But it will have to wait for one more day, as I fly out from Calgary and go straight to Toronto to relive my early 20s with the recently reunited Pavement at the Toronto Island Concert. Balding hipsters will swoon.

 

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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