The judging process is structured as a double-blind and follows the concepts found in “Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation” by Amerine and Roessler. Each entry is assigned its own number which identifies the wine from start to finish no matter how many times it may be judged. In the event a winery lists an incorrect classification for their entry the Chairman of the Competition will move it to the correct classification.
The number of panels is determined by the number of wines entered. A panel consists of 4 judges who evaluate the wines assigned to them by vintage, type, style, class, and winemaking techniques. Each panel member judges approximately 100 – 120 wines per day. The flights are structured so that each panel has a variety of white and red wines to avoid palate fatigue. Wines are not judged in price categories as judges may be swayed which could lead to faulty results. Judges are asked to pay attention to all styles of wine and to award medals based not only on power but to consider subtlety, delicacy, varietal character, terroir and breeding. The judges discuss their findings and a vote is taken to determine if the wine is worthy of a medal. The judges’ decision is final and results are never altered when this decision is made. It is during this process that a determination is made to award Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Chairman’s Best of Class medal and a Sweepstakes nomination.
There are five awards given in the Sweepstakes category: BEST sparkling, white, rosé, red, and dessert wine. Wines nominated for the Sweepstakes award are served to all the judges.
Note: Fundraising is a critical factor of the Long Beach Grand Cru. Funds raised benefit the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, which provides legal help for low income and poor people in civil matters. All wines become the property of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. We recommend you send a winery representative to pour or we can assign a volunteer pourer. All remaining wine after the Public Tasting will be used for charitable fundraising and marketing benefits throughout the year.