WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Wednesday kicked off the Indy International Wine Competition at Purdue University. It’s the 26th year for the event and it’s known as one of the largest wine competitions in the nation.
This year, 2,000 wines are competing for the top spot and the dozens of judges behind the glass are uncorking, sniffing and swirling.
“We have judges who are in their mid-20s and folks that are in their 70s, and they come from all across the country. Our furthest traveling is Roland from Austria,” said Christian Butzke, chief judge of the competition.
The 50 wine experts judge nearly 100 wines per day.
“It’s exhausting work to taste that many wines and judge them and evaluate them. And of course our judges are spitting out the wine but even then, at the end of the day they tend to be quite tired,” said Butzke.
The wines undergo blind taste tests for the chance to win wine of the year trophies, as well as double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals in various classes.
“People have information about the varietals, the grapes that are being used. But the rest is really up to them to evaluate the wine, to see how nicely balanced if is and if they like it. How it smells and that’s really what they base their judgement on,” said Butzke
The contest is put on by the Purdue Wine Grape Team.
The competition is a great opportunity for local winemakers to put their names in with the world’s elite wineries. Organizers said in many ways, the wine competition has given local wineries the insights needed to step up their game.
The competition is being held at the Purdue Memorial Union. The judging for the Wine of The Year winner begins Thursday at 5 p.m.