Home Industry News Releases Fine Wine Glass Ceiling Crashed at the Second Annual Oakland Wine Festival’s...

Fine Wine Glass Ceiling Crashed at the Second Annual Oakland Wine Festival’s Judgment of Oakland TM


Oakland Wine Fest LogoOakland, California, November 16, 2016 –The Oakland Wine Festival is excited to present the final results of the Judgement of Oakland TM which broke ground by inviting consumers to join with leaders in the wine world to to participate in a double-blind tasting of top wines from around the world.  The Judgment of Oakland TM is the first ever double-blind tasting to include consumers, tasting side-by-side with winemakers and winery owners which is a rare experience that only select professionals have enjoyed for centuries worldwide.

The event, nestled high in the Oakland Hills, behind the closed doors of the Sequoyah Country Club, featured 129 affordable to quite expensive wines in a broad range of varietals and wine styles.

A select team of sommeliers and wine educators led the participants through the tasting and voting process.  Each wine bottle was hidden in a plush velvet bag, and accompanied by a voting box to hold the votes cast within the following five categories: consumers, sommeliers, winemakers, trade, and media.  Over 200 winemakers, vintners, winery owners, sommeliers, trade, media and an array of wine aficionados double-blind tasted and voted on the wines.

“This was a great opportunity for our consumer participants to see what it’s like to be on the inside,” said Russ Weis, President, Silverado Vineyards and Honorary Steering Committee Member.  “And this really gave our winery partners the opportunity to learn a lot more about what consumer want to see on their dinner tables.  There was a clear correlation between price and quality in the results.”

Statistics for the Judgment of Oakland TM

Presenting such a depth of wine varietals supports the educational and charitable goals of the Oakland Wine Festival.  Consumers and wine professionals applauded the uniqueness of this event.  All were encouraged to vote their wine palates and to responsibly taste the wide variety of national and international wines during this educational and fun event.


Russ Weis, President, Silverado Vineyards and Honorary Steering Committee Member states, “Wineries clearly wanted the Oakland consumer to try more Cab than Chardonnay.  With Cab Franc coming in at 5% of the entries, it matches the Sauvignon Blanc numbers.  That’s a very interesting wrinkle.  Could Cab Franc catch up to Sauvignon Blanc’s 9.6 million cases in the US market?  I doubt it, but it is interesting that wineries wanted to test the waters at the Oakland Wine Festival!”


Results for the Judgment of Oakland TM

The Oakland Wine Festival Founder‘s belief, experience and knowledge of what select consumers wish to experience at a high-touch, primarily seated wine and food event, was confirmed: They want the best!  Fine-wines and high-end wines were the overwhelming all-around favorites with our participants, thus debunking long held stereotypes, urban myths and false beliefs and erroneous wine consumption assumptions.

A vote card numbered “1” indicated a vote of “Very good.” A vote card numbered “2” indicated “Good,” and a vote card numbered “3” indicated “Not so good.” Each category of voting cards was a specific color to ensure the integrity of each vote that was cast.

Stats at a Glance

  • Participants enjoyed a wide selection of varietals of outstanding wines
  • Vintage matters
  • Blind-Tasting wine is an excellent and fun way to learn about wine
  • The palates of our attendees are exceptional
  • Our participating winemakers, wineries and wines were well received
  • Four of the Best in Show wines are priced above $100; 3 are over $50; 5 are $30 and up; 4 are under $29 and 4 are sold out with no price available.

Varietals and Appellations

The Top 20 Best of Show wines are comprised of 11 of the 20 varietals that were presented in the double-blind tasting: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sparkling Wine, Pinot Noir, White Blend, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec were the palate favorites.

Cabernet Sauvignon was the clear leader with 5 in the top 20.  Zinfandel was next with 3, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malbec, each with 2 in the top 20.  And fully half of the top wines came from one region:  The Napa Valley.  Sonoma County was also a favorite with 7 wines in the top 20, while 2 California appellation wines and one from Mendoza, Argentina filled out the top 20 rankings.


A 2009 from Argentina was named a top vintage.  A two way tie between the 2012 and 2013 vintages were followed by 2014, and a single 2015 and NV as consumers and wine professionals favored vintages.

To read the full report, please click here to our website!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.