The five-month, nationwide search for the most knowledgeable bartender of Rioja wines in the US is over. The Vibrant Rioja campaign announced today that Charles Joly, chief mixologist at the Drawing Room in Chicago, IL, is the winner of its first-ever “Pour Genius” bartender competition. The Grand Prize is a five-day, all expenses paid visit to Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region.
“In today’s bar business, consumers are looking for small plates and by-the-glass options instead of sitting down for a lengthy dinner,” explains Ana Fabiano, Trade Director for Vibrant Rioja. “Our competition was designed to educate bar staff about Rioja’s potential as by-the-glass offering, and test their knowledge about the region.” Each competitor had to create a Rioja-based drink, take a quiz and submit an essay on Rioja’s appeal at the bar.
More than forty industry professionals from key markets such as Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and Seattle participated in the contest. The second place went to Dylan Regan, bar manager at Jimmy’s in Aspen, Colorado, and Alexander Caban, a bartender at Junction in Santa Fe, New Mexico, came in third. Other serious contenders came from the Bellagio in Las Vegas, as well as the Clover Club and Red Rooster in New York.
For more details about the competition, please click here.