I was very thankful to be a judge at the millennial-focused Next Gen Wine Competition. I honestly feel that this could be a very important moment in wine – and not just because I was a part of it.
It could also be a blip on the screen. We shall see.
By now you may have heard about the upset that occurred on Monday – one of the coveted Best In Show spots being taken by Barefoot Moscato. Not kidding. Barefoot Moscato. The result itself is juicy enough, but what happened in the room when the judging was finished and the name of the winning wine was announced as a Barefoot bottle was completely fascinating to me.
I’ll be writing a full post on this moment in the coming week, but in the meantime here are some slices of the experience from my point of view.
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Just a fraction of the wines entered into the competition.
The judging grid for Panel 1, which consisted of Head Judge Kevin Boyer, myself, John Slamon and Mariana Gil Juncal
Set up for the final flight of around 26 wines tasted as a group.
While waiting for the final tasting to begin, we (the judges) eschewed the reception area for some air on the sidewalk.
The final tasting begins. The entire group tastes through together for Best in Class and Best in Show winners.
Millennial Judges at the final tasting portion of the Next Gen Wine Competition. Left to Right: David Vicini, Marketing & Sales Director: Trecini Cellars; Tyler Balliet, Co-Founder: The Second Glass; Mariana Gil Juncal, Head Sommelier & Publishing Director: Baco Club, Argentina; Leah Hennessy, Owner & Head Business Strategist: Millennier; Ian Burrows, Advanced Certified Sommelier & Consultant Wine Director: Boot & Shoe Service, San Francisco.
All the millennial judges assembled for the final tastings of the day.
The future of the wine industry: the full group of millennial judges poses for a photo.