wine competition2

JANUARY 17 – 18, 2010
The Best American Wines 

Sight, Smell and Sip” summarizes what it takes to enjoy wine. But to evaluate wine, one must have the perspective that comes with a good palate and experience. 



Those qualities are essential to the 21 judges who will debate over 500 American wines at the Third Annual American Fine Wine Competition  January 17 and 18, 2010, held at the Lincoln Culinary Institute (formerly the Florida Culinary Institute).  

Begun in 2007 by wine friends Shari Gherman and Monty and Sara Preiser  the editors of The Preiser Key to Napa Valley, a comprehensive guide to Napa’s wines and restaurants  this event  has quickly grown to become one of the largest and most respected contests in the country, fielding more than five hundred entries.

 It winners are held in high esteem because of the design of the competition, dividing wines by varietal or style, and price point.  Another reason is the rigorous process by which medals are awarded: Even numbers of judges at each table silently evaluate and rank the wines in that section, then discuss with the other judges the rationale for their scores, until a consensus is reached.   

 Judges are selected for their reputations as ‘golden palates,’ experienced tasters, and respected members of the wine community.  They are a diverse group in terms of geography, age, experience, and profession;  from wine and culinary educators and writers to sommeliers, chefs, wine buyers and restaurant owners. They all have one common trait: their passion for wine which the AFWC will share with the public in March.

 “This year’s event is shaping up to be extraordinary,” said Shari Gherman, President and Co-Founder of the AFWC. “With more than 500 submissions, the initial wine judging was a challenge! The judges were quite pleased to taste so many exceptional American wines.  But even more exciting, these wines will all be available for the consumer to taste during the Gala Dinner. My recommendation to our guests: keep an eye on your Wine Angel, the designated ‘wine pourer’ for your table. Every time you see them during the gala, they’ll have four new bottles of wine for you to taste!”

 At The Third Annual American Fine Wine Competition Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 13,  guests will sip and swirl the finest American produced wines from the competition and a five-course dinner prepared by South Florida’s top chefs: Johnny V, Cindy Hutson, Michael Wagner, Oliver Saucy and Master Pastry Chef Chris Northmore. With live entertainment by jazz singer Nicole Henry and famed performance artist Michael Israel  who will create original works of art for the live auction:  more than 100 mixed wine lots - all wines from the competition - signed by the winemakers themselves.

It’s all for a great cause: to date, the AFWC has raised more than $240,000 for local non-profits.

Tickets for the Gala Dinner are $195 per person. Weekend packages for the event are available at Spring Hill Suites and Homewood Suites on Metrocentre Blvd., both walking distance from the Lincoln Culinary Institute.

 For more information on the Gala Dinner, hotel rates, ticket or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Shari Gherman at 561-504-VINE (8463) or via email at Tickets are $195 per person. proceeds from the event will benefit the Quantum House at St. Mary's Hospital, the American Red Cross and the Florida Culinary Institute Scholarship Program.