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2018 Little Italy Amateur Wine Competition

Entry Deadline Friday, August 31st

Competition date: September 8th

Sponsored by the Cleveland Chapter of the American Wine Society

With support from the Northern Ohio Wine Guild and Little Italy Wines

We are happy to continue, the 17th annual Little Italy Amateur Wine Competition. This year’s Wine Competition is again sponsored by the American Wine Society with support from the Northern Ohio Wine Guild and Little Italy Wines. Home winemakers from the Northeastern Ohio area will compete in a friendly and fun venue to determine the best homemade wines in the region. The “Best of Show” winner will receive an 18 bottle dual zone home wine cellar cooler from Little Italy Wines.

In recognition of the outstanding reputation of this event, the American Wine Society, the largest national community of wine explorers, with over 8,000 members, continues to sanction this event as an Official Regional Competition. The Cleveland Chapter of AWS will supply several certified wine judges for this event. You can get information on AWS membership at:                                                                         www.americanwinesociety.org

The actual contest judging will take place the morning of Saturday, September 8th, in the Holy Rosary Church Basement Catering Facility. Entrants not serving as Wine Stewards will not be allowed into the church basement facility until after Noon.

                          NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 21 PLEASE
1:30 P.M. Free Seminar: “Characteristics, Causes, Prevention and How to Fix Common Wine Flaws” – Tom Cobett, American Wine Society, Cleveland Chapter

This year, we will be using an evaluation form with easier to understand feedback. If your wine has a problem, you will get information on how to fix it (if possible) and how to avoid it in the future.

Please pass this information along to every local amateur winemaker that you know.

2018 Little Italy Amateur Wine Competition Guidelines

1.     The judging will be conducted on Saturday September 8th, 2018.

2.     An AMATEUR winemaker makes wine either alone or in collaboration with other amateur winemakers. If there is collaboration, all persons involved must be named on the entry form and are considered as one entrant. Any wine which may be legally sold is not an Amateur Wine. Any inquiries regarding amateur status may be directed to Competition Coordinator Matt Silvaggio (440) 292-6985, or Head Wine Judge Dale Mitchell (330) 352-1663.

3.     Amateur winemakers may not use the facilities of a commercial winery during any stage of wine preparation or wine storage.

4.     Grape varieties are classified as Vinifera, Hybrid, and Native. Grapes of the vitis labrusca, vitis riparia, vitis rotundifolia, vitis rupestris or vitis aestivalis species will be considered as Native.

5.     Wines entered as varietals should contain at least 75% of that varietal. Wines containing less than 75% of one varietal should be entered as blends.

6.     Wines from the same fermentation but made into different sweetness levels, receiving different treatments of oak or fortified with alcohol, may be entered into the appropriate categories without restriction.

7.     Blends that include grape wine and fruit wine must be entered in the Fruit category. Fruit or non-grape wines which are Sparkling or Fortified must be entered in the respective Sparkling or Fortified categories.

8.     There is no limit to the number of wines that a person or team may enter.

9.     Two 750 ml. bottles (or two 375 ml. bottles for Dessert wines) will be required for each entry.

10.  All wines will be judged by a panel of professionally qualified judges according to the current relative merits of the wine within the category.

11.  The “Best of Category” winners will be clearly superior in their category and the “Best of Show” wine will have an overall enological excellence that surpasses all other wines in the competition.

12.  PRE-REGISTRATION IS MANDATORY and can be accomplished by returning the entry form included in this mailing to one of the receiving sites, before Friday, August 31st, 2018, with a check payable to Matt Silvaggio. Please write “Wine Competition” in the memo area of the check.

13.  The entry fee for on time registration is $10.00 per entry. The entry fee after the drop-off deadline is $15.00 per entry. The entry fee covers the expense of professionally qualified judging, competition correspondence, the award medals and ribbons as well as the food for the Saturday afternoon Italian Buffet. Any profits from this event will go to support the Cleveland Montessori School in Little Italy.

14.  It is the responsibility of the entrant to deliver the entry wines to one of the receiving sites:  Little Italy Wines, 12414 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland - (216) 231-9463         Matteo Silvaggio, 5686 Edgehill Dr., Parma – (440)292-6985 or (440) 292-6985

15.  PLEASE PUT LABELS ON YOUR BOTTLES IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE LABEL TO BE JUDGED! These labels will be judged against each other in the Best Label Competition. Label judging is done by the wine stewards.

16.  Gold, Silver and Bronze medals awarded in each category will be decided by the average scores from the judging panels. The Point Guidelines for awards are:

BRONZE 13.0 – 14.99                 SILVER 15.0 – 16.99              GOLD 17.0 - 20

These are the same point requirements that are used in Commercial Wine Competitions.

17.  Categories containing less than 10 entries may be combined. Additional categories may be added at the discretion of the Head Wine Judge, Dale Mitchell. The “Best of Show” judging will be done immediately after the end of the Panel Judging.

18.  The Competition Coordinator, the Head Wine Judge and the Head Wine Steward reserve the right to interpret these rules as necessary for the best interests of the Competition.


Please read the Competition Guidelines.
Wines containing less than 75% of one Varietal should be entered as Blends

White Vinifera: Table wines made from a Vinifera species of grape, dry or semi-dry

110 Chardonnay

120 Riesling

130 Gewurztraminer

140 Sauvignon Blanc

180 Other White Vinifera Varietals

190 White Vinifera Blends

Red Vinifera: Table wines made from a Vinifera species of grape, dry or semi-dry

210 Cabernet Sauvignon

220 Zinfandel

230 Merlot

   235 Syrah

240 Petite Sirah

250 Pinot Noir

   260 Cabernet Franc

   270 Sangiovese

280 Other Red Vinifera Varietals

290 Red Vinifera Blends

White Hybrid: Table wines made from the grapes crossed from more than one species, dry or semi-dry

310 Seyval

320 Vidal Blanc

325 Vignoles 

   330 Traminette

380 Other White Hybrid Varietals

390 White Hybrid Blends

Red Hybrid: Table wines made from the grapes crossed from more than one species, dry or semi-dry

410 Chambourcin 

   420 Chancellor

   430 Noiret

480 Other Red Hybrid Varietals

490 Red Hybrid Blends


White Native: Table wines made from a North American species of grape, dry or semi-dry. (Examples: Niagara, Delaware, Duchess, Scuppernong, etc.)

510 White Native Varietals and Blends

Red Native: Table wines made from a North American species of grape, dry or semi-dry. (Examples: Concord, Norton, Cynthiana, etc.)

610 Red Native Varietals and Blends

Blends: Table wines made from grapes from different main categories, dry or semi-dry. (Examples: Vinifera/Hybrid, Hybrid/Native, Vinifera/Native.) Minor varietal should constitute 10% or more. If the minor varietal is less than 10%, enter the wine in the appropriate varietal catego­ry above.

660 White
670 Red

Fruit: Table wines, dry, semi-dry or sweet

720 Apple or Pear

740 Stone Fruits (Examples: Peach, Plum, Apricot, Cherry, etc.)

760 Raspberry or Blackberry

770 Other Berries (Examples: Strawberry, Blueberry, Elderberry, etc.)

790 Citrus, Melon and Other Fruits, including blends and flavored wines



810 Dry, Semi Dry or Sweet Fortified Aperitif or Dessert wines
880 Sweet Non-fortified Grape (over 3% Residual Sugar)
890 Dessert Non-fortified (over 6% Residual Sugar)

Sparkling: Wines made effervescent by the presence of Carbon Dioxide

980 Sparkling Grape and Non-grape including blends


Rosé: Blush, pink or rose-colored grape table wines

Rosé Fruit Wines should be entered in the appropriate Fruit category.

     1000 Dry or semi-dry Rosé, made from red grapes or blends of white and red grapes.


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