American Wine

Over the past seven years, the American Fine Wine Competition has become one of the top wine events in the country. Organized American Fine Wine Competitionin 2007 by Shari Gherman and Monty and Sara Prieser, this year’s competition attracted 766 entries that were tasted blind by a panel of judges, with the winners were announced in January. The culmination of the AFWC year will take place at the annual Charity Wine Gala, to be held this Friday at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

   Described as “a night of indulgence, discovery and giving,” the evening will feature a specially designed five-course menu paired with all the wines entered into the competition, poured tableside by the volunteer Wine Angels (the AFWC doesn’t charge wineries to participate, but requests four sample bottles—two for judging, one for the Gala and a signed bottle to be auctioned for charity). The live auction will be conducted by Alan Kalter, announcer for Late Night with David Letterman, and entertainment will be provided by Hilary Kole. This year’s recipient is Deliver the Dream, an organization that helps families with serious illness or crisis to mend and recover. Since its inception, the AFWC has raised more than $600,000 for charity.

   Of the 766 wines, which ones were impartially determined to be the best in the country? These four entries, all from Napa, were awarded Best in Show:

  • Maldonado Family Vineyards Chardonnay, 2011 ($40)
  • St. Supery Dollarhide Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 ($100)
  • Mumm Napa Valley Santana, NV ($50)
  • Ceja Vineyards Dolce Beso, 2009 ($40)

From 6:30-11 p.m. on Friday, you can join 30 of America’s top winemakers at the AFWC Charity Wine Gala. The event is black tie optional.

Mark Spivak is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, published by Lyons Press; his second book, Moonshine Nation, is forthcoming from Lyons Press in June. For more information, go to

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