Meet the Wine Judges

GhermanSHARI GHERMAN

Shari Gherman has been involved in the wine business for over 25 years. Her experiences in virtually every part of marketing, distribution, supply and advertising have combined to form a unique background and the basis for The Gold Medal Wine Tour and The American Fine Wine Competition.

Most recently Gherman co-founded the American Fine Wine Competition. This is the only competition in the country that limits its entries to “premium level” American produced wines only. The media and winery buzz over this competition has garnered press from around the nation and interest from notables such as Robert Parker Jr.
The AFWC and its associated marketing arm, The Gold Medal Wine Tour, are based on Gherman’s passion for wine. The GMWT markets the Gold and Double Gold medal winners from the competition in exclusive dinner venues while benefiting local charities. Gherman has melded her love for wine with her drive to give back to the community. In the last two years, Gherman has raised over $250,000 for children’s charities through the marketing of these great wines and the associated charity dinners.

Earlier in her career, Gherman worked in the publishing industry, and with wineries, suppliers, and distributors. This experience helped her learn both the technical and logistic arm of the wine business. Working with wineries and suppliers developing marketing plans, reviewing budgets and market penetration goals exposed the “business” side of the industry. Working with the distributors rounded that education with knowledge of distribution and related concerns. It also gave her a first hand look at commercial customers, how they think and more importantly why they purchase certain brands over others.
Gherman has sat on wine judging panels, participated in hundreds of formal and informal industry tastings. She is a certified Sommelier and has traveled extensively throughout the USA to search out new wineries and products. She has also toured the wine regions of Italy, France and South Africa. Her palate “is one of the best I’ve ever seen” according to Fred Tasker, the wine writer for the Miami Herald.

However, what really makes Gherman different is her combination of advertising and promotional expertise that complements her wine knowledge. Gherman worked 15 years in advertising. Starting as a sales representative and moving up to the Advertising Director, her knowledge in that arena has been a great asset. Gherman was the brain child and developer of the wine section for the iconic Ocean Drive magazine. This section continues today more than 10 years after Shari’s departure.

Passion, expertise and drive separate Shari from the pack. Her skill set of wine and marketing knowledge have been the basis for her outstanding successes. It is this combination that will continue to help Gherman, and those associated with her, to move forward into the ever changing wine industry.

 

wendy2 closerWENDY ROSANO

Wendy Rosano has over 25 years in the restaurant business. From her roots in New York, she has owned and operated over half a dozen restaurants and was directly responsible for the wine list in each establishment. She has received honorable mention for her wine lists.

Wendy also currently works as a consultant for the hospitality industry. She holds her intermediate certification in wine and spirits from WSET (The Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London) and has participated in hundreds of formal and informal industry tastings.

She is currently operating Terra Fiamma at the Delray Marketplace and is responsible for the wine program which currently offers more than 40 wines by the glass.

 

deliusDELIUS SHIRLEY

Partner/ Owner – Ortanique on the Mile & ZEST. Delius has been in the restaurant business since he was a child, starting as a dishwasher for his mother, Norma Shirley. In April of 1994, he and world acclaimed Chef Cindy Hutson opened their first restaurant, Norma’s on the Beach, where he created a wine list that won numerous awards. The restaurant was touted as “The best Caribbean restaurant in South Florida” by publications such as USA Today, New York Times, London Times, Chicago Tribune and Ocean Drive magazines. In 1996 they were awarded the coveted “5 Star Diamond Award” for the fabulous dining at Norma’s on the Beach and has continued to hold that same prestigious award at the dynamic duo’s current location Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables and now ZEST in downtown Miami. The wine list continued to grow, too.

Delius still has time for consulting and private catering, and has been a judge at the American Fine Wine Invitational for ten years.

PATRpsulivanICK SULLIVAN

Patrick Sullivan has spent many years as a wine journalist and educator, as well as in the retail and wholesale segments of the wine and liquor industry. He has selected wines and composed lists for some of the top restaurants in South Florida, and conducts staff training for restaurants in Florida, New York, Nevada and other states. Involved in wine training for the trade and the public since 1990, he has hosted hundreds of multi-course wine-paired dinners. In the past, he was the primary wine and spirits columnist for “South Beach”, “DINE” and “SoMi” magazines. He travels extensively, lives in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, and currently writes feature articles for “The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional” and other publications.

roberto_colombiROBERTO COLOMBI

Roberto Colombi, started his career at age 14 in a local restaurant in the province of Bergamo, Italy, called Abacanto. His uncle was both the restaurant manager and sommelier, and Colombi got right to work, tasting wines and tagging along on trips to wine fairs and cellars around Northern Italy.

After working and traveling through his early teenage years, Colombi went to hotel school in Darfo Boario Terme in Brescia, Italy. He completed his diploma in 2000, at age 18, and continued working in wine at his family’s restaurant, Le Terrazze, joining the Associazione Italiana Sommelier in 2002. Colombi worked at Antico Albergo, a traditional Italian restaurant in Milan, before joining renowned Italian Chef, considered to be the founder of modern Italian Cuisine Gualtiero Marchesi at his 2 Michelin Star Restaurant in Erbusco in Franciacorta, a region famous for its sparkling wines. At Ristorante Gualtiero Marchesi, Colombi had the opportunity to work with Nicola Zanini, recognized as the “best sommelier in Italy” in 2002.

In late 2003, Colombi relocated to England to learn English and work for Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, London. While working for Gordon Ramsay, Colombi complited the Wine & spirits education trust in 2004, and the Certified level of the Court of Master Sommelier in 2006.In 2005 he was promoted to Assistant Head Sommelier, and in 2007 he left England for a Head Sommelier position at Cielo in the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida. In 2008 Colombi was awarded Rising Star sommelier of South Florida by Starchefs.com

Colombi is now the Beverage Director of Cielo at the Boca Raton Resort and club a Waldorf Astoria Resort.

JACQUELINE COLEMAN

Jacqueline is the monthly “Vino” columnist for Biscayne Times newspaper, and she writes a quarterly wine column for the Miami-based foodie magazine, Let’s Eat. She received her sommelier certification at the U.S. Sommelier Association, and additional wine education at the FIU Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Wine Program, and The French Wine Society.

In addition to her current role writing about wine, she has also worked with local boutique wine distributors to plan winemaker events across South Florida, led corporate wine dinners, and paired over 100 dishes for celebrity chefs for Chef’s Up Front to benefit organizations that fight childhood hunger.