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Judges’ put local wines to the taste test

Vickie Fitzpatrick and Alita Parisotto judged more than 2 dozen wines at the Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition in Trail on Saturday.

Many years ago the Italico Club of Trail put a series of long-standing viticulture traditions to the test, but now two Greater Trail women are the gatekeepers of the Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition.

Vickie Fitzpatrick and Alita Parisotto judged more than two-dozen wines at the Columbus Day Banquet and Wine Competition on Saturday.

“It’s our second year doing it,” the girls said in unison.

Fitzpatrick and Parissotto smiled widely, adding that they were the first women to judge this competition last year.

“And they asked us back so I take that as a good sign,” Parisotto said with a giggle.

“I love coming home. Trail will always be my home.”

Aside from the familiarity of being home from Vancouver, Parisotto took judging the wine competition seriously.

Both judges utilized a series of rigorous wine tasting guidelines with each bottle of wine, criteria ranged from appearance to nose and pallet to finish.

But the judges unanimously agreed that judging a wine competition in Trail was unique in comparison to other tasting events.

“You can tell that their heart and soul really went into these wines,” Fitzpatrick said. “A lot of people have been doing this for years and the community knows that the Gulch has been known to kick out some awesome wines.

“We found that out last year.”

Parisotto whole-heartedly agreed and added that she realized many of the participants in the area have set-up mini-wineries in their basements instead of having a warehouse, like in a winery.

“It’s excellent wine all around,” Parisotto said. “This isn’t an easy job even though everybody thinks it is.

“At the end of this if a wine has a beautiful appearance, a lovely nose and a delicious pallet—that’s going to win the wine competition—we base our judging on all three categories.”

Prizes were awarded for first, second and third places in both red and white wines during the banquet.