Actually, 1,067 entries showed up for the annual wine judging at the Florida State Fair this year and 62 took home double golds. As usual, the Florida contest draws in a wide net from Minnesota to Florida as well as the major wine regions of the West Coast and abroad, unoaked chardonnay to chambourcin.
So the best of show awards were spread out: Top white was an Edelweiss from Miletta Vista in Nebraska; best red a syrah from Klinker Brick in Lodi; best bubbles went to a brut fron Laetitia in San Luis Obispo.
In Florida wines, the central part of the state did well, Lakeridge Winery in Clermont got a double gold for the 2010 Blanc du Bois. Its sister winery, San Sebastian, got single golds for a Blanc du Bois, a Stover and a port. And Florida Orange Groves in St. Pete, the perennial champ of fruit wines, claimed best of show in fruit for its Mango Mama.
For me, my best of the fair was outside the wine judging. Pork chop on a stick, fried mashed potatoes and the burgers of your dreams/nightmares: peanut butter and bacon burgers, doughnut burgers on a split Krispy Kreme, and the Wild Hog, a bacon cheese burger topped with pork barbecue, fries and slaw. All at one stand. I could have stayed all day.