A public wine contest

If you’ve been reading on this blog about the various wine contests I’ve held over the years, you might have wondered when you’d be invited to one. Well, that day has now come!

Michelle and I have organized a wine contest to be held in the beautiful tasting room at the lovely Pasanella and Son vintners, in the South Street Seaport where Michelle’s Sea Warriors public art exhibition is going to be held. The contest will double as a fundraiser for the art project, which will involve flying pirate flags from vintage lampposts; if you donate more than a certain amount, you get to keep one of the flags for yourself when the project comes down.

The wine shop is at 115 South Street, between Beekman Street and Peck Slip — come along at 6pm on Tuesday June 30. We’ll be tasting five different wines, all similar, but which have quite a wide range of prices. Your $40 entry fee will get you a ballot, where you will attempt to rank the five wines in order of price; you can buy as many additional ballots as you like for $20 each. The winner will get an original Michelle Vaughan pirate painting; second prize is a gift certificate to Jill Platner.

Bring as many people as you can — it’s all for a very good cause! Once again:

Wine Contest

Pasanella and Son Vintners

Tuesday June 30, 6pm

See you there!

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48 Responses to A public wine contest

  1. Sandrew says:

    Awesome idea, Felix. My girlfriend and I will try to make it (but might be out of town, sadly).

    Also, you’ve inspired us to host our own Wine Contest at our apartment (the first of what I hope will be many!). I’m curious, given your experience, if you have any tips or suggestions on rules, prizes, etc. I have a few specific questions:

    1. I’m contemplating keeping it an “open” contest–that is, not limiting eligible entries to any one varietal, region, price, or even color. Good idea? Is it more fun to pick a “theme”? Fun (and not quality of wine) is our primary goal.

    2. What do you do for prizes? We’re anticipating maybe about 12-15 entries. My initial thought was that the winner (highest scoring wine) would walk away with everything but the wine they brought (which the house would keep as a fee for hosting). But then a lot of people would go away empty-handed (and possibly not even terribly inebriated!), which is maybe not-so-fun. So I’m thinking we’ll give the winner half a case (her choice), then the lowest-scoring bottle would get returned to the person who brought it (as either a prize or punishment), then the house picks a bottle to keep, and the rest gets opened for any guests that want to linger. Any other prize ideas? Did your top bang-for-the-buck winner walk away with anything?

    3. Does the sum-of-scores method work well? I’m a bit worried, knowing my friends, of gaming opportunities. My contingency plan is that if I catch someone gaming, I’ll simply discard all self-scores.

    Again, thanks for the inspiration. If you want any of the data I compile, let me know.

  2. Felix says:

    1. I think limiting things helps people make like-for-like comparisons, but my first contest, limited only by color, was certainly fun.

    2. Don’t worry about inebriation: a bottle of wine per person will generally suffice on that front. Really any old prize structure works, the fun is in the tasting and scoring.

    3. If you have a better idea than sum-of-scores, then let me know, but it works for me, and it’s hard to game if you taste blind. (People generally can’t identify their own wine, even if they’re trying to game the game.)

  3. CNBC Sucks says:

    Salmon, speaking of contests, I read that you have recruited John Gapper and Michael Mandel as judges for the Cranky Ritholtz – John “I Never Met a Drink I Didn’t Like” Carney debate on CRA. Well, you just might need an objective tie-breaker and I would suggest me: The Great CNBC Sucks. I am totally objective on the CRA issue; in fact, I know completely nothing about it despite being a regular commenter on the Ritholtz blog. (I seldom paid attention to what he wrote.) Carney has told me that he is a fan of my blog and he drinks with a friend of mine, so I am emotionally neutral and intellectually detached (if not disinterested), which is perfect for a judge. Additionally, I can set up a creative tie-breaker if it gets to that, which we know can’t be a hot dog eating contest because Cranky would win. Anyway, I just wanted you to know The Great CNBC Sucks is there for you if you need him.

  4. CNBC Sucks says:

    I realized that my comment above may be interpreted as something other than flippant and good-natured, which were intended, and particularly the description “I Never Met a Drink I Didn’t Like” was meant to characterize Carney as a man’s man and the “hot dog eating contest” to characterize Barry as a teddy bear type in my usual affectionate way toward him. Let there be no misunderstanding whatsoever. The Great CNBC Sucks likes both men, and it should be an exciting debate.

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