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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition Gala!

If you are a fan of American wine, have I got an event for you! Next Thursday, April 19th marks the Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition Gala, an event that celebrates the prowess of US wine making. Whether you prefer California Cabernet, Oregon Pinot Noir or New York Riesling, this event has something for every palate. 

The competition is the brainchild of co-founders Shari Gherman and Monty and Sara Preiser, all wine industry insiders who held the first AFWC event in 2007. The team also selects all the wines for the competition, which is by invitation only. This year I was honored to be included on the Judges Panel for the competition. The panel consisted of an esteemed assortment of wine professionals from a variety of domains including wine educators, wine writers, restaurateurs and sommeliers.  

Responsibilities of the position included two full days evaluating 635 wines, divided equally among the panel which was subdivided into groups of four. Each foursome would taste through their assigned flights and award each wine a medal of gold, silver, bronze or, very rarely, no medal. The final score for each wine was an average of the judge's individual scores. In the event that each judge rated the wine a Gold, the wine received a Double Gold medal and was immediately in contention for a Best in Class or Best in Show designation. By the end of the two day judging process, we had the opportunity to sample some wonderfulUS wines. While many were from California, there were remarkable offerings from other states as well including Texas, Ohio and New York. It was a wonderful experience working with the incredible team of judges and after all the tasting and evaluating, the final results are as follows:

Best of Show White
2009 Castello di Amorosa "Il Passito" Reserve Late Harvest Semillon, North Coast

Best of Show Red
2009 La Follette Manchester Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Mendocino Ridge

Best of Class Awards
2007 Peju Province Winery Cabernet Franc Reserve, Rutherford
2009 Mumm Napa Chardonnay, Carneros
2009 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Paso Robles
2008 Rocca Family Vineyards Merlot, Yountville
2007 Merriam Vineyards "Miktos" Bordeaux Blend, Sonoma
2009 Jada Vineyard & Winery "Hell’s Kitchen" Rhone-style blend, Paso Robles
2010 Ledson Winery & Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
2005 Mumm Napa DVX Sparkling Wine, Napa Valley
2008 Sol Rouge Syrah, Lake County
2009 Michael David Winery "Gluttony" Zinfandel, Amador County
2010 Ferrante Winery "Golden Bunches" Riesling, Grand River Valley, Ohio
Prager Winery & Port Works 10-year-old "Noble Companion" Tawny, Napa

Next Thursday's Gala will include 600 of the wines featured in the competition as well as the culinary expertise of Chef Emeril Lagasse who will perform a cooking demonstration for lucky attendees. Prior to dinner, a drawing will be held allowing eight lucky guests to sit on stage at "Emeril's Table" to enjoy the demonstration close-up. Alan Kalter, announcer for Late Night with David Letterman, will serve as emcee and Auctioneer for the evening and entertainment will be provided by Dayve Stewart and the Vibe. The Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition Gala benefits the Diabetes Research Institute and the Golden Bell Education Foundation and is sure to be a fabulous evening for a very worthy cause.

The Gala will be held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club and starts at 6pm, tickets are $310. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, please click here. Hope to see you there!


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