The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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Page 102 of 148

102 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 IT'S NOT LIKE WE NEEDED IT, BUT THERE WAS MORE THAN ONE REASON to celebrate on April 1, 2016. On that day, within the Eiffel Tower Restaurant of Paris Las Vegas, a group of Vegas's wine industry elite raised a glass both to Miljenko "Mike" Grgich's 93rd birthday and to the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris. The two events aren't wholly unrelated: Grgich was the winemaker for the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that placed above its American and prestigious French coun - terparts, making history and cementing California's place on the world's wine map. It' s a big year for Grgich not only because he had turned the wine world upside down 40 years previously. Grgich was also a James Beard Award nominee for this year's Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional. Not to mention, he released his autobiography, Glass Full of Miracles. Staring at the cardboard cutout of the smil - ing 93-year-old man (Grgich himself could not attend in person), I had to wonder whether there was anything he couldn't do. Between the toasts, happy chatter and three-course luncheon paired with Grgich Hills Estate wines, things got a little serious—there were even a few panel discussions. The first, led by Master Sommelier Lindsey Palmer, Wine Director of Charlie Palmer Steak at Four Seasons Las Vegas, centered around women in the wine industry. Says Geddes, "When I first started, I didn't know to have a woman mentor ; there just weren't that many. But once I passed Advanced, more women mentors reached out to me, and if it wasn't for those women, I probably wouldn't be a Master Somm." THE PRIVATE LAS VEGAS LUNCH AND TASTING IN HONOR OF MIKE GRGICH'S 93RD BIRTHDAY AND 40TH ANNIVERSAY OF THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS TASTING OF 1976 by Jessie Birschbach / photos by Sarah Timmins Almost Too Much to Celebrate Two of the six Grgich Hills Estate wines poured for the luncheon: the 2011 Yountville Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2013 Fumé Blanc Dry Sauvignon Blanc. Grgich Hills Estate's Midwest Regional Sales Manager Sean Barrett speaks as Steve Hua, Head Sommelier at Stripsteak in Las Vegas, receives another pour.

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