The panel of sommelier judges from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade who sipped, slurped and spit their way through the Challenge included: Timothy Bubar, Timo; Nicole Ciani, The Cypress Room; Chad Crow, Chill Wine Lounge; Don Derocher, Eau Spa and Resort; Sean Florence, Il Mercato; Sylvie Gervais, Mizner Country Club; Brian Grandison, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink; Kirsta Grauberger, Market 17; Eric Larkee, The Genuine Food Group; Luis Mejia, J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour; Laura Romano, Hollywood Prime at the Westin Diplomat; Daniel Toral, Lippi; Andreas Schreiner, Pubbelly Restaurant Group; Michelle Martinez, DBA Café; and independent sommelier and educator Tara O’Leary. Students from Johnson & Wales assisted with the Challenge, pouring throughout the two-day event.
Each sommelier-judge will select at least two gold medal-winning wines to feature at his or her restaurant during Best in Glass Month, March 9 – April 12, 2014. Many will choose more than two wines, including several silver medal winners, and other restaurants will join in the promotion. These award-winning wines will also be poured during the Auction and Wine Dinner on Saturday, April 12, the culminating event of VeritageMiami. In its 19 years, VeritageMiami, and its predecessor the Miami Wine & Food Festival, has raised more than $12 million to support United Way’s work in the community.
“Our sommeliers are skilled at pairing wine and food, so I’m excited to think that over the next few months I’ll have a chance to taste many of these wines as the judges envisioned, with food at favorite restaurants around South Florida…That’s a great wine adventure everyone can share,” said Lyn Farmer, a James Beard award-winning writer and director of VeritageMiami.
In addition to being featured at many restaurants, the medal-winning wines will also be poured at this year’s ZEST™ Awards hosted by Johnson & Wales University’s North Miami Campus on March 19. The ZEST™ Awards showcase and honor leaders in the culinary arts who are transforming the culinary world in South Florida.
The annual VeritageMiami brings together wine, spirits, beer and food lovers for a four-day festival featuring, top sommeliers, notable chefs, prestigious wineries and winemakers, breweries and impressive auction lots, all to benefit the South Florida community. Celebrating its 19th year, VeritageMiami benefits United Way of Miami-Dade, supporting programs in our community that are focused on improving education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good life. For more information, visit www.veritagemiami.com, www.facebook.com/VeritageMiami and www.twitter.com/VeritageMiami