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Showing that differences in palates do matter, the results of the 2012 San Joaquin Valley Wine Competition are in! The Competition, held April 20th in Fresno, pitted wines from thought the state against each other, as judges by three distinct panels of judges; qualified wine experts, Hispanic Americans, and members of the Millennial Generation. As can be seen from the accompanying lists of winners, some winners had broad-spectrum appeal, and others were more liked by one particular group of judges.

List of Award Winners

All wines were judged using a modified UC-Davis 20-point scale, which put more emphasis on taste and overall impression than the traditional scale. In this way, the difference in flavor preferences between the groups could be fettered out. In general, it appears that mass-market designed wines fared much better with the two focused demographic groups – Hispanic Americans and Millennials. The panel of experts, on the other hand, showed a much different set of wine preferences on the whole pointing towards a definite shift between those who are trained to like certain flavors, and those who are not.


“What this Competition tells us, “ says director Peterangelo Vallis, “ is that the rules for tasting wines have little bearing on what the emerging population wants in their wine beverage. Those companies that are attune to the changes in the mass market buying demographics are going to make their wines in a way to appeal to these groups.”

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