And in Chile, every new year brings another version of the Annual Wines of Chile Awards, the country’s most important wine event.
The 7th Annual Wines of Chile Awards will have a Canadian jury for the first time. Expert judges Tony Aspler, Gurvinder Bhatia, Sid Cross, Anthony Gismondi, Nick Hamilton, David Lawrason, Rod Phillips, David Scholefield, John Szabo, and Bill Zacharkiw will begin their 3-day tasting marathon in Santiago on January 11, 2010.
Nearly 500 wines from 111 Chilean wineries throughout the country will be judged by varietal and price point, and awards will be presented in 12 categories plus “Best in Show” on the evening of January 14.
Once they complete their tastings, the judges will present a seminar entitled “Navigating the Canadian Wine Market” on January 14.
About the judges:
Tony Aspler (Ontario) has been writing about wine for over 30 years. He was the wine columnist for The Toronto Star for 21 years and has authored 15 books on wine and food, including The Wine Atlas of Canada, Vintage Canada, The Wine Lover’s Companion, The Wine Lover Cooks, and Travels with my Corkscrew. In February 2001, Tony co-founded a charitable foundation with Arlene Willis, Grapes for Humanity, which raises money through the wine community for the victims of landmines and children with disabilities.
Gurvinder Bhatia (Edmonton, Alberta) is the wine columnist for CBC Radio; Contributing Editor and columnist for Tidings, Canada’s most widely distributed wine and food magazine, wine consultant to over 100 hotels and restaurants, a wine educator, international wine judge, owner of the Vinomania wine boutique, and the creator of Vino-Aerobics.
Sid Cross (British Colombia) is globally respected for his extensive knowledge of wine and food, his tasting ability, and his memory. Sid is the Wines Committee Chair of the International Wine & Food Society headquartered in London, England. He is in demand as a frequent wine judge, panelist, and food and wine educator. Sid is the only Canadian to be inducted as a Membre d’Honneur of the L’Academie du vin de Bordeaux, and he was promoted by the French government from Chevalier to Officer status in the prestigious Ordre du Merite Agricole.
Anthony Gismondi (British Colombia) is a top rated writer, broadcaster, speaker, and one of Canada’s most influential wine critics. His expertise is widely acknowledged throughout the international wine community. He contributes to many magazines and newspapers and has been a weekly wine columnist for the Vancouver Sun since 1989. He is also the Senior Editor at Wine Access Canada’s Essential Guide to Wine and Spirits with responsibilities for international wines.
Nick Hamilton (Quebec) has been active in the alcoholic beverage industry since 1980 and an industry consultant and educator since 1985. He has been the managing-owner of a beverage consulting firm since 1987 and is the author of The Quebec Beer Guide (1997). He is a wine-journalist with Vins & Vignobles wine magazine and a wine columnist for VOIR newspaper and Le Must Alimentaire food magazine.
David Lawrason (Ontario) has been an independent, full-time wine writer, educator, and wine competition judge working in Toronto since 1986. In 2000 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Wine, Beer and Spirits Importers Association, and a similar honor from the Ontario Hostelry Institute. He was later named to the Board of Governors of the Sommelier Guild. He also began his own program of consumer wine courses that continues to this day under the auspices of Wine Access.
Rod Phillips (Ontario) is a wine columnist, author, and educator based in Ottawa. He writes a weekly column and a blog for Ottawa’s main daily newspaper and contributes to the wine media in Canada and overseas. He is a regular contributor to Vines (Canada) and The World of Fine Wine (UK), and has written several books on wine, including A Short History of Wine (UK, 2000) and numerous foreign translations. He gives wine classes, judges in wine competitions in Canada and abroad, and publishes an annual guide to the best-value wines in Ontario’s provincial liquor system.
David Scholefield (British Colombia) is one of Canada’s most experienced and well-traveled wine personalities. His renowned palate, sharp wit, and great passion for wine have established him as a much sought-after wine consultant, speaker, teacher, and judge in international wine competitions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.
John Szabo (Ontario), Canada’s first Master Sommelier, earned his title from the Court of Master Sommeliers in London, England in 2004. He has been working in the hospitality business at home and abroad for over 15 years, filling many positions including cook, sommelier, wine importer, restaurant & winery consultant, educator, wine writer, and winemaker. Today, John reviews, writes, blogs, consults with restaurants, judges nationally and internationally, teaches, speaks, voices his views on radio, and co-hosts the online series Wine guy vs. Beer guy.
Bill Zacharkiw (Quebec) began his journey into wine began 20 years ago at the age of 23 when he opened his own restaurant on Montreal’s highly competitive St. Denis Street. His writing career began with his blog, The Caveman’s Wine Blog, which was declared by the Wall Street Journal to be one of the five most interesting wine blogs on the web. He is presently the wine writer for the Montreal Gazette, a member of the Wine Access National Tasting Panel, and is a regular contributor to the SAQ magazine, Cellier.
Stephen Schiedel, the Portfolio Manager for Wines of the Americas at the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch, was originally scheduled to participate in the judging as well. Unfortunately, Stephen has suffered an accident and will not be able to be with us this year. We wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him here in Chile again soon.