Best In Glass Wine Challenge
In its seventh year, Best In Glass Wine Challenge offers South Florida Wine lovers an enchanting selection of wines from around the world, wines the experts agree will be best in your glass. BIG is a unique wine competition in which all the judges are working sommeliers and hospitality professionals and evaluate the wines in a blind tasting and judge suitability for inclusion in a by-the-glass program. Exclusive to the trade only.
A crack team including some of South Florida’s top sommeliers and wine consultants gathered at Johnson & Wales University’s Beverage Lab on February 12 to taste through more than 110 submissions to the Best in Glass Wine Challenge.
The judges were tasked with evaluating the wines in a series of blind tastings on two main criteria: quality and value. Unlike many wine competitions, at Best in Glass, the judges were aware of each wine’s wholesale price, so they could make the same consideration they make daily in their restaurants – is this a wine that offers quality at a price that will succeed in the industry’s most sought-after position: on a restaurant’s by-the-glass list?
We suggested to the judges they choose only those wines that truly excelled, and felt would offer everything they wanted in a selection for serving by the glass and award these Gold Medals. As the judges tasted through 19 flights of wines it became apparent that many of the wines they tasted had admirable qualities but did not make the cut for price. After several discussions we decided to recognize these wines for their quality and award them an Honorable Mention.
The 23 wines that earned a coveted gold medal will be featured at the Eighth Annual Associate Legal Mingle, as well as for top sponsors and trustees of VeritageMiami. And of course, look for some of these wines at a restaurant or wine shop near you!
Hakan Balkuvvar, The Setai
Ian Beglau, Toro Toro at InterContinental Miami
Amanda Fraga, The Genuine Hospitality Group
Brian Grandison, Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Kirsta Grauberger, Market 17
Amanda Joffee, Uvaggio Wine Bar
Joel Mesa, Bulla Gastrobar and Pisco y Nazca
Daniel Rosenstrauch, No Name Chinese
Jen Schmitt, Upland
Jennifer Wagoner, Michael Mina Group
The judges will gather for a day of tasting and consideration before selecting the top wines for gold medals. Only then will the brown bags be removed and the judges will know the wine brand and provenance.
The categories of the blind tasting are organized as they might be on a wine list, grouped by price, variety and style. Within broadly based categories, there will still be subdivisions dictated by our maximum of eight wines per flight, so in entering your wine(s), consider these categories mainly as a guideline.
Wholesale price categories (for a standard 750ml bottle):
A – Up to $9.99
B – $10.00 – $14.99
C – $15.00 – $20.00
D – $20.01 – $40.00 (restricted to sparkling wines)
No wine with a wholesale cost of more than $20.00 per bottle will be considered as these are not viable contenders for most by-the-glass lists. The sole exception to this is Champagne and other sparkling wines, which may be entered with wholesale cost up to $40.00. We welcome fortified wines and sweet wines providing they fall into the above noted price categories.
- At the request of the judges, the competition will not accept wines made from fruit other than grapes, nor will the judges consider wines with added non-grape flavors
- Each entry must include four (4) 750ml bottles of the submitted wine. Dessert wines are the only exception and may be submitted in 375ml or 500ml bottles. The pro-rata wholesale price guidelines still apply – maximum price is $20 per 750ml of wine
- Wines must be distributed in the South Florida market at the time of the blind tasting, and must be available for retail at the trustee tasting in spring, 2018 (we will have a retail license for this event and will purchase the wines from your distributor)
- Our price categories are set by the sommelier-judges to include wines they will realistically consider for purchase. Submitted wines must fit in one of the four defined wholesale price categories and the entry form must include the wholesale price at which you will offer the wine for by-the-glass placement.
- There is no limit on the number of wines a winery or distributor may submit however we may close entries if we receive too many to judge properly in the time allotted.