bed vyne judgement of brooklyn Judge - Sommolier Judia Black

Sommelier Judia Black

Alongside a distinguished and varied panel of critics and connoisseurs, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams served as both judge and host for the ‘Verdict Of Brooklyn’ wine and beer tasting event last week. The group judged an equally diverse selection of 32 wines and 32 beers in a blind tasting curated by some of the most notarized food and drink establishments in and around the borough.  The results will be announced Saturday, May 17th, at the first annual ‘Judgment Of Brooklyn.'

“Brooklyn is red-hot.  There is no other way to say it," President Adams said.  “Brooklyn, the borough that sets all the trends, is the center of the universe for lovers of libations. At the Judgment of Brooklyn, the bar will be raised on our taste making credentials. I am proud to support this event that not only promotes our local businesses but affirms Brooklyn as a global destination for connoisseurs and casual fans alike of beer and wine.”

Created by the team of gentleman that own Brooklyn’s Bed-Vyne Wine, Bed-Vyne Brew, and Tap+Cork, ‘Judgment of Brooklyn’ was loosely inspired by the 1976 ‘Judgment of Paris’ - in which judges placed France’s premier wines against those of the then-emerging Napa Valley vineyards.  The event was a catalyst in building the name and reputation of one of the wine world’s central hubs of today.  Complementing the array of wines and beers, guests will also be able to experience dishes from 10 of New York Cities best emerging restauranteurs.

RELATED: BLACK OWNED BED VYNE STAKES A CULTURAL CLAIM IN THE WINE INDUSTRY

“We always intended on extending the experience outside of our beer and wine shops.  Last year we held our first Tap+Cork event, which brought out 900 people.  We immediately started to think about how we could top that.  We thought it would be great to try to recreate ‘The Judgment Of Paris.'” said Rotimi Akinnuoye, one of the partners of Bed-Vyne. “The idea is not only to showcase the beer, wine, and food culture that is growing everyday in Brooklyn, but to also connect an international awareness and focus to the borough as having a strong culinary identity and beverage industry.  We are a small wine shop in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but constantly looking to change the connotation with the neighborhood and think bigger.”

The group presented the idea to Borough President Adams, who was immediately on board, as it perfectly aligned with his mission of “One Brooklyn”. The Bed-Vyne team hopes to be at the forefront of this charge, planning to produce a number of events that will bring Brooklyn closer together as it becomes an international player in the cultural experience industry.

“We wanted to make sure it was interactive and inclusive.  We are hoping consumers are eager to come out to taste and rank the submissions on May 17th, and see how their decisions compare to those of the top sommeliers and critics in the area.” explained Michael Brooks, Managing Partner of Bed-Vyne. “The world of wine is rapidly changing as a result of globalization. People are competing across the globe for the same markets, so the quality and nuances are developing that much more quickly.  Consumers are following suit, with more African-Americans becoming involved it is becoming increasingly diverse.  Brooklyn can personify that.”

Tap+Cork partner Earl Silas is assured the anticipated success of ‘Judgment of Brooklyn’ is just the beginning of their movement.  They are already creating models to develop the brand and change the themes for subsequent years. “We want to do a summer festival that will rival anything on the Food Network and are already discussing plans to possibly have the next ‘Judgment’ in Spain. There’s a dichotomy we bring to the table that blurs everything. We believe this can become really big.”

‘Judgement Of Brooklyn’ will be hosted at Skylight One Hanson, Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7pm-11pm.   Tickets are available at judgementofbrooklyn.com.

Ugi Ugwuomo is a Music And Culture writer based in Brooklyn, NY.  You can follow him on Twitter @rLfNowhere.