Professors of wine business, Dr. Liz Thach, MW from Sonoma State and Dr. Natalia Velikova from Texas Tech, hatched up the idea for the friendly wine mixology competition when attending the Wine Industry Financial Symposium. “While we were listening to some of the speakers describe the gains in market share of craft beer and spirits, and the allure of mixology,” explained Thach, “we started wondering why people weren’t doing more with wine mixology.”
“Many wine countries around the world have a healthy culture of wine cocktails,” added Velikova, “but except for wine spritzers, the US hasn’t really shown much creativity around wine mixology.” Therefore the two professors developed a joint project for the spring semester, and are encouraging students to research wine cocktails of the world, and add some new ingredients and clever names to create a renewed interest in wine mixology.
Expert Panel to Judge Contest
Students will present their projects the first week of April and each university will vote on their top three. The final six wine cocktails will then be judged blind by a panel of experts who will decide on the first, second, and third place cocktails. The experts include two Master Sommeliers from California, Ian Cauble, MS and Gillian Balance, MS and two Master Sommeliers from Texas, James Tidwell, MS and Melissa Monosoff, MS. In addition, Tim Hanni, MW, who has an excellent background in food and wine recipes, will make up the five person panel.
The results will be released in mid April. Winners will receive cash prizes that have been donated by the Wine Industry Symposium Group, Young’s Market Company, and Dolan Family Ranches. Over the course of the next year, each of the wine cocktails will be featured as “Wine Cocktail of the Week” on https://winecocktails.wordpress.com/.