Potential judges for the 2018 Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge
Goal: Five or six panels of five judges each for Saturday; three panels of five judges each for Sunday’s finals.
Michael Bishop: retired longtime consultant at Green‘s, frequent wine judge, Challenge Judge 2015, 2016.
Jonathan Brown, Jonathan Brown, MBA: Lecturer, Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, Kennesaw State University. Challenge judge 2017.
Juan Cortés: Sommelier, C. Ellet’s; former sommelier Restaurant Eugene.
Eric Crane, Director of Training and Business Development, Empire Distributors, Court of Master Sommelier, Advanced Sommelier (2013); U.S. Sommelier Championship, Finalist, 2010; Society of Wine Educators, Certified Specialist of Spirits (2010), Certified Wine Expert (2006); Challenge Judge 2015.
Wayne Crawford, CSW, retired U.S. Army, former COO Harry’s Farmers Market, monthly wine column for “Smoke Signals” in Big Canoe, is writing a book on Georgia wines (to be published 2017), certification as a French Wine Scholar and Champagne Master level certification, French Wine Society; a qualified judge American Wine Society and has judged a number of wine competitions in the South. Challenge Judge 2016, 2017
Warren Dennis: Longtime Atlanta retailer and wine consultant, Challenge judge 2016
Ted Field: Owner/founder Domaine Wine Distributors, specializing in Old World wines; 2011 “Grape Crush Productions” Top Atlanta Wine Professional. Challenge judge 2017.
Rhonda Foster: Co-owner with her husband Scott of Liam’s in Thomasville, Rhonda chooses all the restaurant’s wines and other beverages, maintains what may be the state’s most impressive cheese selection, and
David Harris: BS oenology and viticulture, California State University at Fresno, former winery owner, currently in solar panel sales with Radiance Solar, Challenge judge, 2016, 2017.
Debbie Jones, CSW: former wine consultant at Savor Boutique, Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits (Piedmont), currently with Savi Provisioins. Challenge judge, 2015, 2016, 2017.
Gil Kulers: Culinary Institute of America, former editor, The Atlanta Wine Report, former wine columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former retailer, currently sommelier, Piedmont Driving Club.Challenge judge 2016.
Kristen Lindelow, CWJ, FWS, CSW, CWAS: Court of Master Sommelier, Level 1, 2018; numerous other wine credentials, including French Wine Scholar, French Wine Society, 2013; American Wine Society Judge Certification Program 2013; WEST—Level 2 (with Merit), 2013. AB Georgia State University, cum laude. Currently owner/educator Tennessee Valley Wine Academy and wine educator, Church Street Wine Shoppe. Extensive judging experience.
Jon Mattson, CSW: Resort dining manager, Barnsley Gardens; Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers; extensive restaurant management experience; Challenge judge 2017.
Greg McCluney: Wine writer, formerly Atlanta Wine Report, freelance wine, food and travel writer; frequent judge (Atlanta Wine Report panels); Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Teresa Meggs, Teresa Meggs, CSW: certified sommelier, French wine scholar, WSET II. Challenge judge 2016.
Scott Montgomery: American Wine Society’s Wine Judge Certification Program graduate, an Italian Wine Specialist (has lived in Italy). Has judged numerous competitions and serves as judging coordinator for the Alabama Winemakers and Grape Growers Association amateur wine competition. Challenge judge 2017
Matt Mullinax: Culinary Institute of America, former winery sales rep with Shannon Vineyards, Sylvania, GA, current sales rep with Atlanta Improvement Company. Challenge judge, 2016
Ron Needle: Former distributor and importer (retired), firstname.lastname@example.org. Challenge Judge 2016
Ryan Papp: former general manager and beverage manager at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Centennial Olympic Park; currently with National Distributing; BS, Georgia State University, real estate, 1999; Challenge judge 2017.
Lori Pocock, CSW: Challenge judge 2016.
Adam Pucillo, Level II Court of Master Sommeliers; former general manager and beverage director, American Cut restaurant; currently launching Del Frisco’s Double Eagle concept, as beverage director Georgia Institute of Technology BSME, 2005; MSME 2011; Challenge judge 2017.
Scott Ragland: former wine consultant, sommelier Piastra, Marietta, Challenge Judge 2016.
Thomas Reagan, retired Delta pilot, U.S. Navy pilot; wine journalist, judge and former distributor—handles the back room. Challenge Master, 2015, 2016, 2017.
Ryan Reardon, restaurateur and former wine guru for White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, enthusiastic supporter of Georgia wines. Challenge judge 2016, 2017.
Jason Restivo, restaurant owner, Atlantic, Savannah, Court of Master Sommelier – Jason@atlanticsavannah.com
Bill Reynolds: retired Army officer; CSW, WSET Level 3 and FWS (French Wine Scholar) credentials; Challenge judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Michelle Schreck, vice president, Atlanta Improvement Company, an importer, former restaurant owner, frequent wine judge; Challenge judge 2015, 2016. 2017.
Jim Shannon, Former owner, Shannon Vineyards, Sylvania, GA; Challenge judge 2016
Bill Stack: attorney, grape grower/vineyard owner, former partner with Tiger Mountain Vineyards, Challenge Judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Vajra Stratigos: Food & Beverage Director, Fifth Group; Challenge judge 2016.
Beverly Taylor, wine journalist, former wine columnist with the “Birmingham News,” photographer and freelance journalist; frequent wine judge. Challenge Judge 2015, 2016, 2017.
Karen Van der Vort: former winemaker at DeLoach Vineyards and in Georgia at Chateau Elan, current vineyard owner and consulting viticulturalist Challenge Judge 2016.
Brian White, sommelier, AG, Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta.