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High Profile Judging Panel Unveiled for 2020 McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – SIP!


Professional wine buyers, writers, educators and judges will score the competition

Portland, OR, December 3rd, 2019: The McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – SIP! has unveiled the final roster of judges for the 27th anniversary event’s wine competition, which will take place January 11, 2020.

The judging panel continues to represent the full spectrum of the wine industry, including wine buyers, wine writers from local, regional and national media outlets, wine educators, winemakers and professional judges from industry titans like New Seasons Market, Made in Oregon, The Oregonian, Forbes Magazine, Great Northwest Wine, the Oregon Wine Press and The San Francisco Wine School.

“The McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – SIP! wine competition has become one of the preeminent competitions in the state of Oregon, and so have our judging panels”, says Rolland Toevs, wine competition organizer. “This year we have ultra-qualified industry professionals who also understand consumer preferences. Medals awarded will be a huge accolade for the winning producers.”

The full panel of judges for 2020 is as follows. Full bios: https://macclassic.org/wine-competition-judges/

Michael Alberty, Senior wine editor, The Oregonian Newspapers and Oregon Wine Press
Joe Roberts, 1 Wine Dude, acclaimed long time writer of award-winning blog and wine review site
Eric Degerman, Great Northwest Wine, Wine Press Northwest, International wine competitions judge
Otto Han, Wine & Beer Program Manager New Seasons Market, former purchaser Whole Foods, Cost Plus
Fred Swan, Wine writer, judge, speaker, educator at the San Francisco Wine School. Founder WWET
Michelle Williams, Dallas based wine writer, Forbes, Snooth, The Daily Meal, etc.
Allison Levine, Please the Palate, Napa Valley Register contributor, U.S. editor Wine Soundtrack podcast
Ellen Landis, Wine Writer, Certified Somm, Wine Specialist, Wine Educator and Professional Wine Judge
Timothy Nishimoto, Certified Sommelier and Wine, Buyer Made in Oregon
David Holstrom, Guy Du Vin. Award winning Restaurant and Wine Consultant, Wine Judge, Master Somm
Michael Cervin, Book Author, Wine Writer, Bonfort’s, Drink Me Magazine, Tasting Panel, Pro Judge
JoAnn Actis-Grande, Boston. Wine Editor Taste the Seacoast Magazine and Coastal Home Magazine
Andria Shirk, Winemaker/Founder Laelaps Winery.
Hilary Berg, editor of Oregon Wine Press, and co-owner of Roots Wine Co.
Patrick McElligott, Chemeketa tasting instructor, and sales and marketing manager for Sineann Winery
Hoke Harden, veteran wine consultant, wine writer, educator and wine critic.
Maxine Borcherding, former chef/wine instructor Oregon Culinary Institute, wine travel guide, operations
Carl Giavanti, publicist and media consultant for boutique wineries in Oregon.

The public festival McMinnville Wine & Food Classic – Sip! is held at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and hosts craft producers of Oregon wine, beer, spirits, food, and art for three days of tasting, toasting, and fundraising for St. James School in McMinnville. Approximately 170 vendors will set up among the space age artifacts – jets, missiles, and displays from outer space missions. Winners of the 2020 wine competition will be able to display their accolades at the consumer event March 13-15, 2020.


The wine competition is limited to 2020 wineries participating in the March festival, which has an extensive waiting list and for which participating wineries must be approved by a committee tasting panel. Eligible wineries have been notified of the details and requirements for submitting their wines, and can access additional information and registration here: https://macclassic.org/wine-competition-2020/

Winners will be announced on January 11, 2020 at the conclusion of the judging. For more information on the 2020 judges and past winners, visit https://macclassic.org/wine-competition/


Nicknamed SIP!, this weekend food & wine festival is a dedicated fundraiser for McMinnville’s St. James Catholic School that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for programs benefiting the school’s children. Organized and staffed entirely by volunteers, the Classic is one of the largest community events of the year in McMinnville, and one of the largest and most beloved indoor food and wine festivals in Oregon. For more information, visit https://macclassic.org/

Facebook: @McMinnvilleWineandFoodClassic
Twitter: @McMinnvilleWine
Instagram: @McMinnville Wine and Food Classic
#SipMcMinnville #MWFC #McMinnvilleWineFood #EatDrinkSupport

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