Judging sessions for the 71st Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition have wrapped up as of the end of May. The ribbons may be on the bottles, but the winners will not be publicly announced until the annual Wine & Cars Under the Stars event at the Fairplex in Pomona on June 19th, bringing oenophiles and wrenchheads together for an evening of tasting sessions and classic car-spotting.
The Fairplex might seem an unlikely venue for such a traditionally starched-shirt affair, but the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition is meant to be inclusive. The Southland's premiere wine tasting panel convened not long after the repeal of Prohibition and has grown to embrace vintners from all over the world, as well as spirits and most recently, olive oil. A 75-palate strong roster of judges sipped, swirled and spit more than 3100 wines, categorized by varietal and price range. Many of the medal winners retail for under 15 bucks a bottle, and the body of knowledge cultivated throughout the judging process forms the curriculum for a wine education program open to all attendees of the L.A. County Fair later this summer.