Last Friday was the VIP Kickoff Party for the 7th Annual American Fine Wine Competition, a contest whose goal is to identify the best wines America has to offer. 2014 marks the 7th year of this competition that began as the brainchild of husband and wife team Monty and Sara Preiser and Sommelier Shari Gherman.So just how do 700+ wines get judged in 2 days? Well, a panel of 25 judges including Sommeliers, Restauranteurs, Wine Writers and Educators hole up for two solid days at FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism in Miami and taste through all those wines (I can hear the violins) and ultimately decide which wines will reign supreme. I'm honored to be included as a judge again this year and the 2014 judging takes place later this week, Sunday, January 19 and Monday the 20th. Needless to say, I probably won't be posting another blog until later next week but I will be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook during the judging process so stop by if you're looking for some behind the scenes wine fun.Next week I'll be announcing the winners of the competition and please mark your calendars for Friday, April 4th for the AFWC Charity Wine Gala benefiting Deliver the Dream which will take place at The Boca Raton Resort and Club. As always it is sure to be an amazing evening filled with delicious food and wine. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, please click here. Otherwise stay tuned and enjoy a few more photos from last week's VIP Kickoff party.