Scoring and Rules

The following are the rules for the Semi-Final and Finals for the US Open Wine Tasting Championship. They are consistent with the rules of the World Wine Tasting Championship, with the exception that Team USA will consist of four people made up of the two top finishing teams in the US Open Wine Tasting Championship.

  1. Tasting teams will attempt to determine the main grape varietal, country of origin, wine region of origin, vintage, and producer of each wine. We use the same scoring system as the RVF for their World Wine Tasting Championship to assure that competition scores can be easily compared to historic tastings, although we understand that wine selection can make the difficulty vary greatly. It will also allow the winning US Open contestants to understand the scoring they’ll experience at the World Championships. A scoring summary is as follows:
    Primary Grape Varietal: 1 point for each 10 percent contained in the wine of that varietal (e.g. if the wine is 90 percent of the lead varietal, 9 points are awarded for a correct answer).
    Country of Origin: 5 points are awarded if correct
    Wine region: 5 points are awarded if correct (Major area identified is adequate, it can be Bordeaux and doesn’t need to be as specific as Margaux)
    Vintage: 3 points are awarded if country of origin is correct, 1 point is awarded if country of origin is incorrect but year is correct.
    Producer: 2 points are awarded if answer is correct.
  2. Teams will consist of two people who are free to discuss the wines with each other.
  3. There will be ten minutes between wine pours.
  4. Six white wines and six red wines will be sampled during the semi-final and final competitions.
  5. Teams will not be allowed access to reference material during the competition.
  6. Note taking is allowed on paper that was blank at the start of the tasting.
  7. Use of phones or other smart devices are not allowed during the competition.
  8. Assistance from anyone not on the tasting team is not allowed.
  9. Three glasses will be used during the tasting so management of which glasses are emptied for subsequent pours will be performed by the tasting team.
  10. Points will be deducted for minor rule violations, disqualification will occur for major violations at the discretion of the judge(s).
  11. Answer sheets will be provided to the judges 20 minutes after the final wine is poured.