Just got back from Cal Expo, where the second day of the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition is currently underway. Judges from around North America have descended on Building 5 at Cal Expo to sample through a veritable ocean of wine. According to chief judge G.M. "Pooch" Pucilowski, this year's competition includes nearly 2,900 wines - up 250 entries from 2011.
I served as a guest judge on a panel of tempranillo and merlot, comparing my scores with a panel that included Andy Podshadley of Novato's Trek Wine and Steven Elphick of Toronto, a photographer who's judged wine since 1988. Judging continues through Friday, with results expected by Tuesday. Stay tuned for more on the final results, as well as a database of winners to be posted next week on www.sacbee.com.
You can taste the big winners for yourself on Aug. 18 at California's Grape & Gourmet. This food and wine fiesta will be held at Cal Expo's Buildings A & B, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information: click here or call (916) 263-3636.