MEET THE JUDGES

Tasting Director:  Daniel Kelada

Daniel is an Executive Sommelier, Master Candidate and Senior Wine Instructor with the International Wine & Spirits Guild and through the Guild teaches accredited wine certifications and seminars in Texas and around the country. He has a background in BioChemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and in 2008, he founded GUSTO Tastings, a wine education company where he could utilize his 16+ years of hospitality experience with a focus and expertise in consulting and event curation. In 2012 he became one of four founding partners in Vinovium Partners, a Texas négociant and winery that specializes in premium wines on tap from Texas and around the world. Daniel is also the current board President and a founding member of the Texas Wine and Food Consortium Inc., a Texas nonprofit organization and the current Tasting Director of the Consortium’s subsidiary, the Texas Wine Journal; whose mission is to build awareness for Texas wine via independent, credible and objective ratings.

Jennifer Beckmann

Jennifer Beckmann

Jennifer is the Marketing Director, Sommelier and Educator for a boutique winery, Kuhlman Cellars, in Stonewall, Texas.

Jesse Brantley

Jesse Brantley

Jesse Brantley is Beverage Director for Trattoria Lisina in Driftwood where she manages the wine list, hosts wine events and acts as Sommelier.

Shawn Croft

Shawn Croft

Bio to come

Jaime Chozet

Jaime Chozet

Chef Jaime Chozet is the Corporate Executive Chef for Bunkhouse Group, A Hotel Management company.

Jim Cubberley

Jim Cubberley

Jim Cubberley has been in the wine business since 1993, and in that time has worked every major area of hospitality, including restaurants, retail and wholesale.

Julia Dixon

Julia Dixon

Bio to come

Peter Gatti

Peter Gatti

Peter is currently the Director of Education at Twin Liquors.

Jon Gerber

Jon Gerber

Bio to come

Sam Hovland

Sam Hovland

Sam passed the first two stages of the International Sommelier Guild’s degree in 2002, and got his Sommelier degree in 2005. HE can currently be found at the Austin Wine Merchant, where he has returned to work there after a sixteen year sabbatical.

Chris Howell

Chris Howell

Chris Howell is a Fine Wine Specialist with Republic National Distributing Company.

Miguel Lecuona

Miguel Lecuona

Miguel Lecuona runs a marketing service company, Wine Marketing Guide LLC, with clients in Texas, Virginia, New York, and Bordeaux

Oscar Montes Iga

Oscar Montes Iga

Oscar is a Certified Executive Chef of Wine Arts and a Master Candidate with the International Wine Guild. He’s also a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, and was awarded the Specialist of Wine certification through the Society of Wine Educators.

Mark Rashap

Mark Rashap

Mark Rashap is one of only a few Certified Wine Educators (CWE) in Austin, and works for the certifying body The Society of Wine Educators.

Rob Moshein

Rob Moshein

Rob currently consults with Austin-area restaurants, writes, blogs, is a wine educator and a national brand Ambassador in the US for the Bordeaux Wine Council.

Nathan Prater

Nathan Prater

Nathan is in the process of starting his own business that will offer services in all aspects of beverage education and consulting.

Ron Weiss

Ron Weiss

Ron Weiss has been a restaurateur in Austin since 1975. He is a founding partner of Jeffrey’s Restaurant and Cipollina West Austin Bistro, and has been the operating partner of both. He is also the operating partner of O’s Campus Café (currently with ten locations) on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Rae Wilson

Rae Wilson

Rae Wilson is a wine business consultant with over 20 years in the food & wine industry. She holds an advanced certification (Level III) from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master’s.