Award Winning Wines Selected for South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival 2019
On Feb. 15 acclaimed wine experts convened to taste and judge wine submissions to determine the medal winning wines for the 2019 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, coming to Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, April 25-28. The Tasting of Champions day-long blind judging included accredited judges ranking more than 450 wines in 63 distinct categories. Recognized among the most respected wine competitions in the United States, the wines were critically evaluated based on a number of attributes including color, bouquet and taste. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each category.
"I've judged many wine competitions and this was spot on the most efficient and friendly competition," said Gregg Perkins, of wine import company Broadbent Selections, who served as one of the distinguished judges. "I also appreciated that everything was not mass produced and no votes were premeditated. There was credibility. For example, they knew my wines and cut me out of judging those categories."
"In the best of judging, there was a lot of discussion. The top two reds were strong contenders and we argued in and out of the merits of each. I've known a lot of these people for a long time and respect their opinions. When Gary and I voted for the same top Brut champagne, it was validating," continued Perkins and referring to fellow judge Gary Serafin, an award-winning restaurateur, chef and wine connoisseur.
The judges' panel is made up of vintners, educators, collectors, restaurant owners and wine-related media. The blind tasting concluded with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in each category. Upon completion of the medaling process, an intense "grand showdown" of the most favored gold medal winners were awarded "Best of Show" wines in four categories.
"The quality of the judges has increased every year and this year was the best by far," said Todd Vucovich, Tasting of Champions head judge and tasting coordinator, also previously executive director of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. "These judges are wine professionals with significant experience and certifications in the industry and it shows in their selections."
The Best in Show medalists included:
Best in Show White: Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2016 from Arroyo Grande Valley
Best in Show Rose: Chateau Ste Michelle CV Rose 2017 from Columbia Valley
Best in Show Red: Il Poggione Rosso 2016 from Tuscany
Best in Show Sparkling: Louis Roederer Brut Prem NV from Reims
"With 60+ categories from all over the world, the strength of the festival's wine submissions is not just the quality but the diversity," continued Vucovich. "At the festival, attendees can taste the medal winners as well as dozens of diverse varietals. In terms of quality for the price, you can't miss with red wines from Cotes Du Rhone in France; for sparkling wines try the Prosecco from Italy; for white wines try Albariños from Spain; and for rose wines try roses from Southern France."
Proceeds from the festival support Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, benefiting children's charities in Northwest Florida. Festival founding partners include Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.
Tickets for the South Walton Beaches Wine Food Festival events, including Friday Craft Beer & Spirits Jam and Saturday and Sunday Grand Tastings are on sale now. Visit SoWalWine.com to learn more.
About South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
This year's annual South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be held April 25-28, 2019 throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival features a stunning showcase of the best wines in the world. Meet the celebrity wine producers and master distillers presenting their fine wine and spirits from around the world. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food tasting seminars. Visit the Rosé All Day walk-about, Spirits Row and Nosh Pavilions and enjoy live entertainment throughout the weekend. The Craft Beer & Spirits Jam and Winemakers & Shakers events round out the extended festival weekend. The event is a major fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which benefits children in need in Northwest Florida. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.SoWalWine.com.