Mira seeking judges for international wine showdown

A wine tasting at Mira Winery Napa Valley Education Center on Queen Street.

File/Wade Spees/Staff

To mark the 40th anniversary of The Judgment of Paris -- the blind tasting at which California producers stunned the wine world by earning higher scores than their French counterparts -- Mira Winery is conducting its own Bordeaux versus Napa competition. But Charleston drinkers may have more interest in the contest leading up to the contest.

Just like the landmark Parisian event, the competition organized by Mira will be judged by a panel of 11 judges. In this instance, though, more than half of the judges will be selected by online vote.

Interested wine drinkers are invited to submit nominations to Wendy Keefer at wendy@miranapa.com; Mira will accept names until the end of the month. Once the candidates and credentials are collected, Mira will post a list of potential judges. The people who receive the most support during the Mar. 5-Mar. 15 voting period will join five people plucked by Mira from the local food-and-beverage community to blind taste an as-yet-undetermined number of wines.

“It will be, according to (owner) Jim “Bear” Dyke, ‘an impressive number,’” spokesman Bryan Hunter says. “Mira is working with an independent panel of international wine experts to narrow down the field. It is not at all guaranteed that any Mira wine will appear on the final slate, although it’s possible, as they are a single vineyard Napa Valley winery. The idea is to select a good range of wines that are really characteristic of both regions and impart the nuances of the terroirs in both.”

Dyke says his aim is not to reenact the original competition, but to gauge how both wine regions have evolved.

The blind tasting is scheduled for May 24 at Mira’s Napa Valley Education Center & Tasting Room on Queen Street. To learn more, visit miranapa.com.