Geja's Cafe is hosting the 45th Annual Professional/Amateur Wine Tasting Contest on Sunday, November 4 at 1 p.m. During the event, wine quaffers from around the region will gather to test their taste buds against experts and amateurs alike. Amateurs are defined as not having worked in the wine industry for the previous three years.
Former owner of Geja’s Café and creator of Pro/Am contest John Davis will be in town to guest judge the competition, as well as host a special lunch with previous winners on Saturday, November 3. During this time, guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle, and of course, enjoy wines with John himself.
“The world of wine is as diverse as the countries on Earth,” says Jeff Lawler, Proprietor of Geja’s Café, “That is why this contest is such a challenge. It takes a wise nose and an equally sensitive palate to identify the characteristics of each individual wine.”
The tasting begins with eight unmarked carafes of wine placed before the contestants. The professionals and amateurs are then tasked with identifying the grape, place of origin, and vintage of each wine. The Grand Award for the highest scorer in each category will be an engraved crystal wine decanter. To enter the competition, contestants pay an entrance fee of $30 and must be 21 years of age or older. To RSVP, please call Geja’s Café at 773-281-9101.
“I am so pleased to see how this contest has evolved immensely since its inception back in 1974,” says creator John Davis. “Wine is meant to be enjoyed, and while there is a level seriousness surrounding this competition, it is truly a celebration of wine enthusiasts and I look forward to this year’s competition.”
In the last 44 years of this contest, Geja’s Café has seen over 1,500 participants, 2,500 bottles of wine tasted, two first place ties, 23 different Professional winners and 23 Amateur winners. Barbara Herman, a Professional, has won the competition eight times, and last year’s Professional was newcomer Saaded Ghaey.