Celebrating Excellence

The American Fine Wine Competition is one of the most influential and recognized wine events in the country.

At a Glance

Over 850 Wines

This invitation-only judging invites and accepts only up to 1,000 of the finest wines produced in the country to participate.  Its exclusivity is what makes AFWC the most prestigious wine judging in the United States.

Prime Location

Judging takes place each January at Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management in the Wine Spectator Restaurant Lab.

Best of the Best

Our 32 judges, working in panels of four, award Best of Show, Best of Class, along with recognition for Double Gold, Gold and Silver Medal winners.

Charitable Cause

The Competition is followed by a series of events including SIP for a Cause, Sipping Through America, SIP Rose + Red & White, The Wine Fest, and the Charity Wine Gala.  All are ticketed events open to the public that benefit local non-profits while celebrating the participating wines.

A year-long after party

AFWC hosts events throughout the year, all of which raise money for a variety of non-profit organizations and continues to promote these very special American wines. Since its inception, AFWC has raised more than $1,100,000 for charity.

Goals of AFWC

To draw recognition to extraordinary American-made wines.

To create an environment where businesses can benefit, profit and grow by promoting their products and services in an upscale environment.

To produce unique events enabling businesses to give back to their community by supporting non-profit, locally based organizations.

To give sponsors opportunities to entertain and show appreciation to clients, prospects and staff.

To offer partners multiple opportunities for brand exposure and relationship building with other sponsors attendees and thousand consumers with discretionary income.

Why wineries love us

Exclusivity: AFWC is “Invitation-only” and includes wines that are vetted and invited by our Acquisition Board.  We seek vineyard-defined wines that reflect winemaking decisions.  We skip nondescript, mass market wines.

Careful Judging:  Each 4-judge panel takes ample time to blind taste each flight of 6-8 wines, lingering 30 minutes for development and nuances to emerge, recording detailed notes.  Healthy discussions lead to medals, scores and descriptions.  Double gold wines move on to plenary judging for best of class and show.

Mix of Judges: Each panel of our 32 judges include a somm, a wine-trained chef, a wine writer, and an educator, with no producers or distributors to avoid biases.  We personally circulate among judges to encourage positive, consistent and careful evaluations.  

Results: We showcase best medal awards and scores (100 point scale) without calling attention to wines that lag. We will put your website link next to winners of Gold, double Gold, BOC and BOS wines.  We are developing descriptive details in a searchable database. 

Exposure: After day two of the judging, we host hundreds of wine buyers, enthusiasts and somms to taste the wines at Sipping Through America, A Thousand Bottles, a fantastic event that pours all the wines opened at the judging.  Music, restaurants, wine, an auction to benefit the school, and hundreds of wine enthusiasts! This event widens the wines exposure to commercial and private buyers.  Wineries are invited to participate in this event to pour their wine and take orders.  SIPPING takes place on January 19th.

Community:  It is important to AFWC to give back to the community.  We work with many worthy non-profits- each event we host raises funds.  In the past 12 years we have raised more than $1.1million for charity.

Education: Because the judging takes place at FIU’s Hospitality School, students have the opportunity to work with AFWC and learn many wine and hospitality-related skills.  Each year approximately 100 students act as “Wine Angels” over the course of three days.  

Judging happens at the wine labs at Florida International University and benefits the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality, which boasts an excellent wine program.  We expect 800-900 wines to participate. 

The cost is a simple $100 registration fee per winery FOR THE WINES INVITED.  If you choose to include other wines, they must fit the criteria and there is an additional $45 fee per wine.  

We ask for 4 bottles of each wine entered, two for the judging, one back-up bottle and one signed bottle to promote your wine to the public in auction or public setting.