Bottles of red wine at the wine judging event

You might enjoy a glass of wine . . . or two . . . or three in one day, but 430 glasses in the the span of two days? That’s enough to kill anyone and leave his liver a petrified remnant!

This weekend, that’s exactly what the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Fest Wine Judging event entailed. Fortunately, though, no people or livers were harmed during this event. “This is the one time where we encourage folks not to swallow,” quipped Tom Hines, Board President and Head Judge. Being with the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival since its inception 32 years ago, he should know!

Where the magic happens

Eighteen expert sommeliers, certified sommeliers, and sommeliers-in-training flew in from all over the United States to participate in the judging. For a total of sixteen hours spanning Friday and Saturday, these judges called a room of the Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort Conference Center their home.

Wine judges

They sniffed. They swirled. They sipped and spit. And after it was all said and done, they had rated 430(ish) wines submitted from around the nation and the world. Well known labels were judged along with lesser known ones, and everything from cabs to rosés to chardonnays were critiqued within their categories.

The judging worked as a process of elimination. The prizes? Bronze, silver, gold, and double gold (best in show) medals to the winners, free publicity and promotion, showcasing at the festival, and by default, extra sales.

We will be announcing the winners within the next week, so stay tuned on our Facebook page! The winning wines – along with others – will be available to order during the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Fest from March 8-12.

Wine glasses

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