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Meet Our Judges

The New York International Wine Competition is the only International Beverage Competition judged by trade buyers who assess the product by category as well as actual price. If you’re looking to break into the New York Market and have your products tasted by multiple trade buyers, this competition is for you. 

Below is our current roster of judges. Check back often for updates!

Bruno Almeida
Wine Director & Sommelier

Previous Positions
Wine Director
Sommelier
Manager
Bar Manager
Bartender
Captain

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
CMS Certified Sommelier

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
2006 Murganheira Espumante Bruto (Portuguese Sparkling)

Cristiano Andrade
General Manager/Buyer

Previous Positions
Advertising/Finance

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
Bachelor of Arts Degree,
Certificate in Film Studies

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
Jean Fillioux Cep d'Or "XO Selection" Grande Champagne Cognac 1er Cru de Cognac

Brandon Barnes
Wine Director, Quality Italian

Previous Positions
Sommelier, Del Posto
Sommelier, Union Square Cafe
Sommelier, Bouley Restaurant

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
CMS, Certified
WSET Level 3

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
1985 Heitz Trailside Vineyard Cabernet

Gary Itkin
General Manager/Buyer, Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit

Previous Positions
Manager - Tribeca Wines & Spirits
Manager & Buyer - Paley Wines & Spirits

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
Judge at Spirits Selection, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2018 & 2019
Judge at Annual Wines of Chile Awards 2017
Sommelier Society of America

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
Duncan Taylor: The Octave - North British 2009 Single Grain Whisky

Valerie Pimpinelli
Buyer, Flatiron Wines & Spirits

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
A 6-pack of light red natural wine as a quarantine coping gift for my best friend

Brooke Sabel
Wine Director, Gary's Wine & Marketplace

Previous Positions
Wine Director, Natirar
Assistant Wine Director, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Director of Sales & Marketing, 56 Degree Wine

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
Certified Court of Master Sommeliers, WSET Level 3, Society of Wine Educators

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
I bought a number of cases for some girlfriends of My Essential Rose that Richard Betts was donating profits to various charities during COVID...because you can never have too much rose...

Carrie Lyn Strong
Sommelier & Owner - Strong Wine Consulting, LLC

Previous Positions
Wine Director - Casa Lever
Wine Director - Aureole
Sommelier - Ai Fiori
Wine Manager - Mercer Kitchen
Wine Manager - The Harrison

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
Sommelier - American Sommelier Association

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
1973 d’Oliveras Madeira (fiancé's birth year)

Dusan Vranic
Head Sommelier

Previous Positions
Beverage Director

Certifications, Awards & Credentials
Certified Sommelier

What was the last boozy gift you bought for someone you cared about?
Armagnac