I spent a beautiful pre-rains Saturday evening at Roanoke Vineyards this past weekend to attend the latest in their series of “Smackdown” events; events where wine industry folks blind taste wines head-to-head while attendees taste along with them.

It was great fun to see old friends, make new ones and meet journalist and author George Taber (pictured above center), who hosted the evening.

Blind tasting is hard. Very hard. And also extremely humbling. But, the panelist seemed to have fun with it, engaging playful trash talk throughout the evening.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow or sip-by-sip account, which I don’t think would be that interesting for anyone who didn’t attend, I thought I’d simply share some pictures from the evening.

The crowd getting ready to begin tasting.

Around 120 people attended this year’s event.

The U.S. tasting team (from left to right): Christopher Tracy, Channing Daughters Winery; Louisa Hargrave, VinGlorious; and Michael Cinque, Amagansett Wine and Spirits.

Team Europe (from left to right): Miguel Martin, Palmer Vineyards; Roman Roth, Wolffer Estate Vineyards and Pascal Zugmeyer, Z Wine Guy.


As the tasting wound down, a beautiful evening became a perfect night.