Cougar Winery does battle with Italian varietals for the 5th year

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Laura Donadoni
Certified sommelier and wine journalist Laura Donadoni participates as one of a panel of expert wine judges during the fifth annual Cougar Meets Italy event at Cougar Vineyard and Winery, Jan. 16. The event puts judges and guests in a blind tasting comparison of Cougar Winery’s Italian wines with their counterparts directly from Italy. Those participating blind taste and compare each variety before scoring each wine based on clarity, smell and taste. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
The fifth annual Cougar Meets Italy 2019 featured Cougar Vineyard and Winery varietals against their Italian counterparts in a side-by-side, double-blind tasting event Thursday, Jan. 16. After having their best-ever scoring results in 2019, winning all three battles in the red wine categories, but losing in the white wine contests, in 2020 Cougar Winery won one of the four competitions, but owners Rick and Jennifer Buffington weren’t disappointed. “The wines taste really similar. That’s a good thing for us; we’re doing something right, I guess,” Rick Buffington said. In the whites categories, Cougar’s 2018 Vermentino lost to its Italian counterpart by a score
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