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Wine & Spirits Magazine Launches their Inaugural Sommelier Scavenger Hunt Featuring Fifteen Top U.S. Sommeliers

Five teams of sommeliers travel to five wine regions to discover the wines that best represent each region's character and terroir. They will compete in a Taste-Off on October 20 in San Francisco. A sneak peak of these wines will be debuted at the 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event.
October 13, 2014

PRESS RELEASE

San Francisco, CA, October 10, 2014 — Wine & Spirits Magazine announced their inaugural Sommelier Scavenger Hunt Taste-Off, featuring fifteen of the top sommeliers in the country. Each team of three sommeliers chose a region and variety; they’ve traveled around their region to hunt down six wines that best represent the region’s character and terroir. At the Taste-Off in San Francisco, each of the sommelier teams will present their selections to wine industry insiders, who will then vote on which group of wines best epitomizes a region’s terroir. The winning team will be announced at the Top 100 Event where all the SommScavenge teams will be on hand to pour and discuss their wine choices. Top 100 tickets are available at wineandspiritsmagazine.com/top100.

“The Sommelier Scavenger Hunt gives the nation’s top sommeliers a chance to discover the new classics from five great US regions,” said Wine & Spirits editor and publisher Joshua Greene. “We will be tracking their hunt in the upcoming December issue and featuring their selection at our Top 100 Event. Attendees will get a chance to talk with some of the nation’s best sommeliers and gain their perspective on what great wine is all about.”

Wine & Spirits Magazine partnered with five regions to send the sommelier teams across the U.S. to taste each region’s wines. The varietal and regional combinations include: In New York, Riesling from the Finger Lakes; in California, Chardonnay from Santa Barbara; Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley; and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley; in Washington State, Bordeaux-Variety Reds. After tasting dozens of wines from the region, networking with fellow sommeliers and researching the most evocative wines, the sommelier teams chose the six wines that best portray the region’s contemporary terroir.

“I thought I knew Napa Valley and went there with certain expectations,” said Napa Valley team leader Michael Madrigale of Boulud Sud in NYC. “But I found those expectations weren’t the truth. I’d never done such a broad tasting like that in Napa Valley: There is amazing terroir—from Oakville to Calistoga—it’s really different. For an old world–focused sommelier like me, the hunt was a great refresher. As soon as I got back to New York, bought three wines to put on my wine list.”

On Monday, October 20, Wine & Spirits Magazine will host an intimate invite-only tasting at Palomar SF, in Dirty Habit’s Stillhouse Room where the teams along with W&S critics and wine industry insiders will taste through the wines. The attendees will vote on each team’s wine selection, presentation and overall story. The winning region will be announced the next evening at the 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event. Each team’s travel, discoveries and findings will be captured in the Wine & Spirits December 2014 issue.

The Sommelier Scavenger Hunt sommelier teams are made up of:
• Team Finger Lakes: Riesling – Led by Matthew Kaner of Covell in Los Angeles, with Pascaline Lepeltier MS of Rouge Tomate in NYC, and Steven Morgan of Alinea in Chicago.
• Team Santa Barbara: Chardonnay – Led by San Francisco-based sommelier Ian Becker of Absinthe and Arlequin, with Haley Guild Moore of Stock & Bones Group, and Gianpaolo Paterlini, of 1760 and Acquerello.
• Team Anderson Valley: Pinot Noir – Led by Houston-based sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd of 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, with Steven McDonald of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, and Christian Varas of River Oaks Country Club in Houston.
• Team Washington: Bordeaux-Variety Reds - Led by Lindsey Whipple of Charlie Palmer Group in New York, with Will Costello of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, and Mark Hefter of Crush Wine Bar MGM in Las Vegas.
• Team Napa Valley: Cabernet Sauvignon – Led by Michael Madrigale of Boulud Sud in NYC, with Josiah Baldivino of Bay Grape in Oakland, and Michelle Biscieglia of Blue Hill in NYC.

Top 100 Event Tickets and Information:

The Top 100 Tasting Event attracts high-level wine enthusiasts and industry professionals who are interested in wines from up-and-coming regions and renowned winemakers. In keeping with Wine & Spirits Magazine’s mission to raise awareness of water conservation issues, proceeds from the event will benefit San Francisco Baykeeper.

The Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting takes place at City View at METREON (135 Fourth Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) on Tuesday October 21, 2014. VIP Early Entry Admission is available for $150 with early admission at 5:30 p.m. General Admission tickets are $110 with admission at 6:30 p.m. All ticket purchasers receive a one-year subscription to Wine & Spirits Magazine. To purchase tickets go to: bit.ly/EventbriteTop100WS

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