5StarWines: My experience as a judge in Italy’s premier wine competition

5StarWines is a competition of Italian wines organized by Veronafiere, the group that oversees Vinitaly – the world’s most important fair for Italian wines.   In its 6th edition, held in Verona between April 1-3, 2022, over 2,300 wines were submitted from all corners of Italy and internationally. Having the honor to participate as a judge for the first time allowed me to learn about … Continue reading 5StarWines: My experience as a judge in Italy’s premier wine competition

On becoming a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador

This past June I became an Italian Wine Ambassador. Yes! I attended and passed the rigorous exam organized by Vinitaly International Academy (VIA), which awards the certification which has become the gold standard of Italian wine education and expertise. VIA’s main goal is to build a global network of qualified professionals who will promote and advocate for Italian wines throughout the world. The program consists … Continue reading On becoming a Vinitaly Italian Wine Ambassador

Walla Walla Wines come to Seattle

In the last few years, the Walla Walla Valley has established itself as the premier wine region in Washington state, with wines that rival in quality those made anywhere in the world. Earlier this month, I attended “Walla Walla Wine in Seattle”, an event sponsored by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, which provided a fantastic opportunity to engage directly with over 40 Walla Walla … Continue reading Walla Walla Wines come to Seattle

Australian Wine Discovered

Up until recently, my perception of Australian wines was of jammy, over-ripe fruit bombs with an entire zoo of cute critter labels (kangaroos, koalas and porcupines, to name a few). However, that image is long gone as I’ve come to realize the new tidal wave on the country’s wine scene, as Australian wines are reinventing themselves with a revived emphasis in balance and elegance, while … Continue reading Australian Wine Discovered

A Deeper Dive into Sherry: Becoming a Certified Sherry Educator

I have to admit it: My name is Alberto… and I love Sherry…  And this spring I had an opportunity to get an in-depth education and fulfill one of my wine dreams: I traveled to Jerez and became a Certified Sherry Educator – one more reason to feel even closer to this unique land and their magical wines. This program is organized by the Sherry … Continue reading A Deeper Dive into Sherry: Becoming a Certified Sherry Educator

The Vancouver Int’l Wine Festival – Canada’s Premier Wine Event

I’ve been visiting Vancouver frequently in the past few months as I’m studying for the WSET Diploma at the Fine Vintage school and during this time have become very impressed with the vibrant food and wine scene the city has to offer. This year I was invited to attend the Vancouver International Wine Festival for the first time and was quite excited to get a … Continue reading The Vancouver Int’l Wine Festival – Canada’s Premier Wine Event

The World of Champagne and Sparkling wine arrives in L.A.

“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” – Dom Pérignon. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 1st edition of Effervescence, a weekend-long food and wine event in Los Angeles celebrating Champagne and sparkling wines from all over the world.  The event brought to L.A. a number of renowned winemakers, importers and star chefs in several events that included master classes, gourmet dinners … Continue reading The World of Champagne and Sparkling wine arrives in L.A.

Salon de Estrellas – The Best Value Spanish Wines

Earlier this month I had a chance to attend the “Salon de las Estrellas” event in Barcelona, organized by La Guia Peñin, Spain’s most famous and comprehensive wine guide. This event gathered the highest-rated Spanish wines (3, 4 or 5 Stars) that were also characterized by high quality-price ratio, with over 50 bodegas from all over Spain participating in the tasting. Though I’ve been a … Continue reading Salon de Estrellas – The Best Value Spanish Wines