MINA Group, led by James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Mina, is a San Francisco-based restaurant management company specializing in creating and operating innovative full-service and virtual concepts. Operating for nearly two decades, MINA Group currently manages over 40 virtual brands and brick-and-mortar outlets across the U.S. and Dubai.
What makes Sommeliers Choice Awards unique is that this competition is judged by respected top master sommeliers, sommeliers, wine directors, and on-premise buyers of the USA – precisely the people who understand what is required of a given wine to add value and interest to the wine list or in the glass program.
Here are some of the judges who will participate in the 2024 Sommeliers Choice Awards.
● WAYNE BELDING MS, Master Sommelier and Partner at Preferably, Colorado
● PETER GRANOFF MS, Master Sommelier, Wine Educator, Speaker, Entrepreneur, San Francisco
● BRIAN KOZIOL MS, Master Sommelier at Maverick Beverage Company, Chicago
● RACHEL LOWE, Director of Beverage for Levy Restaurants.
● ALEXANDER POWELL MS, Master Sommelier and Senior Wine Manager at Grill 23 & Bar, Boston
● LISA SELMAN CSS, Alchemy Room Beverage Director
● KYUNGMOON KIM MS, Master Sommelier
● VINCENT MORROW MS, Master Sommelier and Wine Director at PRESS Napa Valley, San Francisco
● BRANDON TEBBE, MS, Master Sommelier
● SERAFIN ALVARADO MSm Master Sommelier and Director of Wine Education at Southern Wine & Spirits
● SCOTT BARBER, President at Green Pin Wines
● LARISSA C DUBOSE, National Director Beverages- Dining Division at Paradies Lagardère and Wine Enthusiast Magazine Future 40, Vino Volo National Buyer
● BRANDON BIERLEIN, Director of Food & Beverage, Talbott Hotel Chicago
● GUILLERMO BRAVO, Beverage Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Chicago
● ALLISON CURATOLO, Wine Director RPM Italian Las Vegas
● ANIKA ELLISON, Wine Manager, Swift & Sons Steakhouse, Chicago
● KRISTIN FRANCESCO, Sommelier at Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, Chicago
● JAMIE HARRISON RUBIN, Procurement & Placements at Culinary Conservatory
● COLIN HOFER, General Manager of Restaurants, Four Seasons Chicago
● JENNIFER KNOTT, Director of Beverage for Levy at Chicago Symphony Orchestra
● JOSH KING, Director of Food and Beverage, Virgin Hotels, Chicago
● JOHN MARAFFA, Corporate Beverage Manager, Morton’s The Steakhouse | Strip House Steakhouse & Cocktail Lounge | Morton’s Grille
● JON MCDANIEL, Founder & CEO of Ottantadu
● TIFFANY TOBEY, Owner and Sommelier, Tiffany’s Toast, Dallas, Texas
For wine brands looking to grow their on-premise presence in the USA, get the Super Early Bird price by registering online. Enter Your Wines By October 31 and Save $40 per Wine. Get Product Feedback, Market Feedback and Tasting Notes From On-Premise Buyers and Master Sommeliers.
The goal of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is simple: to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.