Cincinnati International Wine Festival Announces Winners of 2017 Wine Competition

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100 Wineries Competed for Medals and Winemaking Industry Accolades

The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is gearing up for its 27th year of charitable wining by announcing the winners of its nationally recognized wine competition. More than 100 wineries participated in the highly-regarded Cincinnati International Wine Festival Competition, which honors outstanding quality in the form of gold, silver and bronze medals.

A panel of 55 professionally trained judges swirled, sipped and sniffed more than 400 wines utilizing a modified blind tasting format where grape types and origins were revealed, but not the wineries, wine names or vintage. Each wine was judged on a 20-point rating scale across five major categories:

  •     appearance
  •     aroma and bouquet
  •     taste and texture
  •     finish and aftertaste
  •     overall impression

The judging panel was comprised of esteemed wine educators, culinary professionals, local restaurateurs, certified sommeliers, alongside wine retailers, salespeople and advocates, all fiercely committed to the integrity of the competition and the wine industry.

“Tasting and judging 400 wines may seem fun, but it’s actually a very difficult job,” said Cincinnati International Wine Festival Executive Director, Debbie Dent. “Our judges adhere to a strict tasting process with impeccable standards to ensure fairness and absolute credible results. We leave no room for error.”

Scoring sheets were collected, tabulated, double-checked and sealed by an independent third party. Results were confidentially returned to the Cincinnati International Wine Festival leadership, and then medals were awarded.

Though the professionals have spoken, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival encourages community members to judge the wines for themselves at the upcoming festival weekend, March 2-4. The festival features exclusive winery dinners at restaurants across the city, grand tastings at the Duke Energy Convention Center, a charity auction and luncheon, wine education sessions and so much more! There is something for everyone, and it’s all for a great cause. Festival proceeds benefit 36 local charities with programs dedicated to the arts, education, health and human services.

View the full schedule, purchase tickets and learn more at


About the Cincinnati International Wine Festival

The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is a Cincinnati-based, charitable, non-profit organization established to raise funds for local charities through the celebration of the wine industry. This year’s festival, presented by Kroger, features more than 700 wines from 250 wineries across the globe. And it’s all for a great cause. The festival benefits 36 Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky arts, education, and health and human services charities, distributing more than $350,000 in grants in 2016. Nearly $5 million has been donated to local charities over the past 27 years. It is estimated that 6,000 people will attend festival events this year. The patronage and support of the Greater Cincinnati community enables the festival to continue giving back locally, one glass at a time.

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Candice Terrell

Debbie Dent
Cincinnati International Wine Festival
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