Indy International Wine Competition to Begin

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(Image courtesy of Purdue University) The 2016 competition features 55 professional judges. (Image courtesy of Purdue University) The 2016 competition features 55 professional judges.

Judges are set for the 2016 Indy International Wine Competition, which kicks off Wednesday at Purdue University. The competition, in its 25th year, is considered the largest independent event of its kind in the country. The more than 2,000 submissions are grouped into 79 classes and winning categories range from best international winery to winners within the state.

The event was launched in 1991 by professor emeritus of food science Dick Vine. The first year drew just over 450 entries.

Panelists consider entries for Best in Class and double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals. Winners from each class then compete for Wines of the year and trophies are also given for Indiana, international winery, winemaker, label and packaging categories.

Professor of Enology and the competition's chief judge Christian Butzke says "winners use these medals and trophies to promote their products in a variety of ways. Some go the traditional route of hanging the medals around their bottles in the tasting room, some add the information to their websites and social media pages. But the common factor is that these awards lend credibility to the winners' marketing. It lets consumers know that the wine has been objectively reviewed by experts and is certified as fine wine. The feedback received from judges can be very useful for winemakers seeking to improve their processes and products and setting or responding to consumer trends."

Butzke says a challenge is to keep the competition relevant and useful for consumers in the age of social media and fast-paced marketing.

You can read more about the event and its history by clicking here.

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