#WineBarWar rocks Miami!

After having taken New York and Miami by storm, the Wine Bar War travels to the UK at the end of June for it’s inaugural European run. To find out more visitwww.winebarwar.com

Wines of Chile’s second #WineBarWar in the US pulled in record numbers as over 500 guests crammed into The Moore Building in Miami to witness the innovative pop-up wine bar competition which sees four teams of four sommeliers battle head to head to build a Chilean-inspired wine bar in one day for the chance to win a once in a lifetime trip to Chile.

The one-of-a-kind competition, sponsored by ProChileLATAM Airline Group,Turismo ChileWines of Chile and the Guild of Sommeliers, required sommeliers to build a bar using 32 of Chile’s finest wines, including at least 4 LAN Premium Business wines, and find design inspiration from one of four tourism destination within Chile: The North, The Central Valley, The Lakes and Volcanoes region and Patagonia.

The final result was four Chilean inspired pop-up wine bars, showcasing Chile’s unique and beautiful country. Team ‘Natural Roots,’ was helmed by Brian Grandison from Fontainebleau’sHakassan; Team ‘El Huaso’ was lead by Greg Rivera from The Breakers Palm BeachUvaggio Wine Bar’s Heath Porter directed Team ‘Fire and Ice’; and Amanda Fraga from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink commanded Team ‘Ungrafted.’

Bars were evaluated on wine selection and knowledge, service/hospitality, originality of concept and execution by a panel of accomplished judges; Geoff Kruth Chief Operating Officer Guild of Sommeliers; Ernesto Echeverry, Marketing Director of LATAM Airlines Group (USA, Canada, Caribbean); Ingrid Hoffman celebrity chef, author, and host of Top Chef Estrellas Telemundo; and Charlie Arturaola, Certified Sommelier and designated Chevalier by the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagnes.

After an intense day prepping, pouring and finally promoting, the overall winners picked were Natural Roots Bar who will be heading to Chile later in the year as their prize. “#WineBarWars was a fantastic and unique way to learn about all aspects of Chile through a fun competition between our peers,” commented Grandison on reflection. “Wines of Chile could have done your typical grand tasting to reach consumers and buyers, and six months later the wines would be forgotten. But #WineBarWars required constructing a wine bar with the collaboration of a team. We interactively discussed each wine and region in way that they will stick in our minds for years to come. Also requiring each team integrate a specific region into their bar design, ours being the Atacama Desert and the North, made us realize how geographically diverse Chile is as a country and how much it has to offer. After the fierce battle there is nothing more I want to do than to head to the North of Chile, stare at the stars and enjoy a glass of Mayu Pedro Ximenez!”

Natural Roots Bar will be able to do just that in a few months, but competition for the win was close and Marybeth Bentwood, Director Wines of Chile US, comments how hard it was to pick a winner: “These teams pour their hearts into bringing Chile to life through bar design and their selection of premium Chilean wine. While only one team can win the grand prize, all teams succeeded in creatively showcasing the best of Chile’s wine and tourism.”

A not so shabby consolation price of round-trip tickets to Chile was offered to the ‘El Huaso’ team for being the most social media savvy. Encouraging guests to follow the conversation, the team took to twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even Linkedin using the @ElHuasoBar handle.

After having taken New York and Miami by storm, the Wine Bar War travels to the UK at the end of June for it’s inaugural European run. To find out more visitwww.winebarwar.com