Menu Tweaking Produces Results at the Mid-American Competition
Based on the idea that wine is supposed to be consumed with food, the Mid-American Wine Competition implemented the Food-Wine Pairing Competition in 2008. According to sources at the Competition, which will be held July 12th through July 14th in Ankeny, Iowa, it’s the only wine competition in the U.S. that evaluates wines based on their interaction and suitability with food.
In 2011, the categories for food choices at the Mid-American were simplified to allow more straightforward choices for wineries seeking to highlight their wines in the best possible light. “In 2010, we had fewer entries likely due to our recipes starting to have a larger number of ingredients and not being typical of what a person in the Midwest would consume on a regular basis,” said Randall Vos, program chair of the horticulture program at Des Moines Area Community College.
“We re-evaluated the format with the goal of making the competition more applicable to what the typical person from our region eats. The current dishes, which can be found on our website are still delicious, but now our pairings will be even more helpful to both wineries and consumers,” Vos said.
In 2012, the Competition received a record number of entries. Vos believes that the 80% increase in entries over the past two years was directly attributable to the new food and wine pairing according arrangement.
New for this year, the Competition is sourcing the greatest possible amount of food and ingredients from Midwestern states.
Despite changes in how food is presented, the Mid-American Competition remains true to its original goal of evaluating wines in a manner that reflects the places where wine is most often consumed; at home with dinner or at a restaurant. ‘Typically wine competitions judge wines only against other wines. And typically the biggest wine wins. But wine is supposed to be consumed with food. So we’re going to judge these wines in a setting more conducive to wines of balance, and by judging the wines with food we think we’ll see a different outcome,” explains chief judge Doug Frost who resides in Kansas City.
Traditional wine competitions judge a flight of wines within the same category. In the standard wine competition, a wine is evaluated alongside other similarly styled wines. In contrast, The Food-Wine Pairing competition is a blind tasting of wines combined with food. The wines are first assessed by themselves to establish style, structure and any other salient characteristics and then they are judged against straight-forward, uncomplicated and traditional dishes.
If you would like additional information, please visit: Mid-American Wine Competition
There will be live coverage of the Mid-American Wine Competition via webcam on Friday, July 12th at approximately 10:00 a.m.
This article was produced by Midwest Wine Press in partnership with the Mid-American Wine Competition.
Randall Vos is the Coordinator of the Mid-American Wine Competition and Chair of the Des Moines Area Community College Horticulture Program. Randall has extensive field experience with grape growers throughout the Midwest and has delivered numerous viticulture presentations in the Midwest and beyond.