Every March, at least 80 judges take their seats at a wine competition in Lodi, Calif., where they will taste glass after glass of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their qualification: They like wine.
The amateur judges at the annual Consumer Wine Awards at Lodi won’t be trained or told what to look for in the wines they taste. They will judge only wines of a style they know they like, so Cabernet Sauvignon or White Zinfandel fans will stick to those wines. They won’t be allowed to take notes—instead, they’ll take a sip and rate how much they like it. In short, they will try to enjoy the wines the way an ordinary consumer would. Interested?