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Judge Bruce Benedict tries the unique tomato wine, which was the Reserve Best of Show Winner. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NIKKI BURKHAMMER)


Examiner Contributor 

Bruce Benedict was at the 2024 Logan County Fair to judge the locally made wines on Sunday at the homemade wine open class contest Sunday, July 7. 

His experience comes from working at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, in the Grape Indistries Department, for more than 20 years. Benedict also ran his own wine shop for a time. 

Keri Thomas, co-chair of Agriculture, and Bryan Gates, a Master Mason and local high-school teacher, submitted their homemade wines to the contest.  

Keri Thomas displays her Best of Show and Reserve Best of Show wines. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NIKKI BURKHAMMER)

Thomas took Best of Show for a wine named Breakfast in a Bottle that includes bacon in its recipe. Her tomato wine won Reserve Best of Show, as well. She has been making her homemade wines for over 8 years for family and friends. 

When asked how she felt about sweeping both titles she humbly answered, “I feel bad, because I wish they would have taken one, but it’s just exciting when someone likes what you have made. I hope they come back, next year.”

All of these unique wines were made available for tasting, and their audience was impressed with the wine-maker’s efforts. 

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