How To: Judgement of Oakland 2017

The Third Annual Oakland Wine Festival is set to take place on Saturday, July 15th.  Featured for its second year is the Judgement of Oakland™ Double Blind Wine Tasting, a creative spin on the world renown Judgment of Paris tasting, which pushed California wines to the forefront of wine culture.  Guests will have access to 100 world-class wines from the regions of Napa, Sonoma and beyond.  There may even be a few International selections to enjoy.  These wines are premium in nature, high-end and typically hard to get, only available through the winery or no longer available.  This is a chance of a lifetime for Bay Area wine enthusiasts to please their palates with some of the the best juice around.
Last year’s lineup included the likes of Chappellet, Silverado Vineyards, JaM Cellars and Peju Province, just to name a few.
Each bottle of wine is elegantly bagged, allowing only what is poured into your glass to be visible.  Patrons, alongside winemakers, industry experts, and wine media will vote on their favorite wines.  A report, to be published later this year, will spotlight the wines that took top spots, and detail each of the wines that participated in the event.  Take a look at last year’s results!  Read the rest of the 2016 results here.

If you are planning on attending this spectacular event this year, here are a few tips to help you along!

Tip #1:  EAT!

You never want to attend a wine event of any kind, or even a trip to a winery on an empty stomach.  A nice, weighty breakfast will help to combat some of the alcohol intake.

Tip #2:  HYDRATE!

Now this isn’t something you should just do before you get there.  This is something you do before, during and after your tasting.  The more wine you drink, the more dehydrated you will become.  I usually recommend a glass of water after every two to three tastings of wine.  Will you have to use the “facilities” more?  Maybe.  But the more hydrated you are, the more you will be able to enjoy your experience without overdoing it. (There are 100 wines after all)

Tip #3:  TAKE NOTES!

What do you see?  What does it smell like?  What do you taste?  Jot down things about the wine that make it memorable to you.  Compare it to others and pick your favorites!  If you haven’t yet discovered what styles of wine you like, or if you are looking to venture into something new, the Judgement of Oakland™ is a great place to start!


Yes, there are 100 wines.  That doesn’t mean you have to try to taste them all within the two-hour event span.  Take your time.  Really get to know the wines.  Don’t overdo it!  You may even want to leave time to circle back to the ones that really caught your tongue!


First of all, no one will be offended if you do.  It’s pretty standard at tasting events of this caliber to pour out and spit as often as possible.  You will be tasting a lot of wine.  The more you pour (or spit), the less alcohol intake, the more you will enjoy and appreciate the experience.


It’s a little hard to pick up on the aromas of the wine if all you can smell is your neighbor’s gardenia-scented body spray.  Or even your own Issey Miyake fragrance.  The wine is the star of the event.  You want the opportunity to explore its characteristics.  While it’s awesome to be around people who smell good, it doesn’t suit well at a wine tasting event.


If there is one thing (other than wine) that tasting events are good for, it’s meeting new people.  You already have one thing in common with everyone else in the room…you like wine!  Not to mention, industry experts, media and the winemakers themselves will be in attendance as well.  Don’t hesitate to stop and talk with others and gain their insight into the wines.  You never know who you may meet.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to snag your tickets yet, you should do so before they are completely sold out!

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