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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



WINE RIVAL returns Sept. 22, partially benefiting Highland Park group

This article shared 635 times since Fri Jul 29, 2022
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Chicago—After a two-year hiatus, The 4th Annual WINE RIVAL (formerly Somm Madness) returns on Thursday, Sept. 22, to award the 2022 title of WINE RIVAL Champion at Venue West, 221 N. Paulina St..

Tickets are $50 and the evening includes a premium Tailgate Tasting from 6pm-9pm and the WINE RIVAL Tasting Tournament from 7pm-10pm. The event is hosted by Adam Sweders, creator of WINE RIVAL.

WINE RIVAL brings together the nation's sommelier community and wine aficionados for a blind tasting tournament. Sixty-four individuals will go head-to-head to advance to the championship round with the ultimate hope of taking home the grand prize: $10,000 cash. There is also a $3,000 cash prize for the runner-up and a $1,000 cash prize to the 3rd & 4th place contestants.

At 6pm, the event kicks off with an over-the-top Tailgate Tasting, the exciting pre-party to the main event that will run through the first half of the competition until 9:00pm. Ticket holders will have access to more than 300 luxury wines in a walk-around tasting as well as a grand display of endless bites. While feasting on fancy finger foods and a selection of sweets, guests will sample from wineries that include some of the most iconic names in the world, including Jordan, Moet Hennessy, Louis Roederer, Heitz, and more. At 7pm, the WINE RIVAL Tournament begins. All ticket holders can watch the tournament while the 64 registered competitors try their luck at the tasting tournament led by renowned judges.

While ticket holders look on, each competitor will partake in a blind taste test, tournament-style, and have a specified amount of time to provide written answers following CMS Standards. The winner will advance to the next round, similar to March Madness. For a chance to compete in the 4th Annual WINE RIVAL Tournament, visit . Registration is open now and final seedings will be announced on Sept. 19. General admission tickets can be purchased here.

ROUND 1: 64

32 Matches - 1 Wine - 90 seconds

ROUND 2: 32

16 Matches - 1 Wine - 90 seconds


8 Matches - 2 Wines - 3 minutes


4 Matches - 2 Wines - 3 minutes


2 Matches - 2 Wines - 3 minutes


1 Match - 2 Wines - 3 minutes

*Participants must provide answers verbally in accordance with CMS Standards. All contestants and spectators must purchase a Tailgate Tasting ticket.

Event Judges

DLYNN PROCTOR - DLynn Proctor has been a figure in the wine industry for 20 years. As a winery executive, DLynn has spent the last decade in global leadership roles with Penfolds Winery and Fantesca Estate & Winery, focusing on import/export, sales, marketing, strategy, and consumer relations. The previous decade of his career, he was instrumental in building restaurant and training programs, private client and retail wine lists, and expanding new venue operations, while garnering accolades as an accomplished sommelier. DLynn has appeared on TV and films including the internationally acclaimed wine documentary series, SOMM and SOMMTV, as well as work as Associate Producer in Netflix's feature film, Uncorked—which have earned him recognition as "Somm to the Stars" in popular culture. DLynn is also the Co-Founder of Wine Unify, a non-profit organization that provides funding, mentorship, and access for underrepresented minorities in the food & beverage industry.

AMELIA SINGER, INTERNATIONAL WINE INFLUENCER + TV PERSONALITY - Internationally award-winning Wine Communicator and Educator. HULU TV presenter on The Wine Show. Previous Wine Writer for the UK' s most read Food Magazine (Waitrose). UK Ambassador for the California Wine Institute. Founder of Amelia's Wine — an event and media business which offers a range of original, fun, helpful and ultimately relatable wine experiences and content. IWSC and WSET Future 50 Award Winner which recognizes innovative and influential drink industry talent from all around the world.

JOHN LALOGANES, AUTHOR & DIRECTOR OF BEVERAGE MANAGEMENT, KENDALL COLLEGE - ACP 2012's "Sommelier/Wine Steward of the Year." Founder and educator of Kendall's Wine Professional Program. Laureate Global Products & Services Award for Innovation. Beverage Book Judge for International Association of Culinary Professionals. Author of highly-acclaimed books such as The Essentials of Wine & Food Pairing Techniques and more.

JOSEPH SPELLMAN, MASTER SOMMELIER - Frequent instructor + examiner in Court of Master Sommeliers. Named "Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines & Spirits" and 1998's Bon Appetit "Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year." Contributor to Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Sante, Decanter, and Appellation.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Balance Project. Located in Highland Park, The Balance Project is a non-profit organization helping families and individuals access emotional wellness support. They build mental health awareness through education and community programming as well as connect individuals to resources and treatment. Part of their mission is to try to eliminate financial barriers for all to find a better balance.

Tickets are $50 each. All contestants and spectators must purchase a Tailgate Tasting ticket to attend. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit . Stay tuned for updates at @winerival_official on Facebook and Instagram. For additional information and / or questions, please email .

This article shared 635 times since Fri Jul 29, 2022
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