Not that Michael Jordan! No basketballs here (altho we may see a football since Vince Ferragamo is a judge). Famed restaurateur and Master Sommelier Michael Jordan is the new honorary chairman of the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, which begins tomorrow. The former global manager of wine sales and wine education for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts® worldwide is expected to assist in growing and expanding the breadth of the competition, including refining its new point-system ratings.
Jordan is quite familiar with the LAIWSC, having served as a judge for many years. He is one of few to hold both the Master Sommelier and the Certified Wine Educator diplomas. Jordan created his own brand, Word Vineyards, and also serves as the host of a syndicated weekly radio talk show that is broadcast in several major AM Radio markets across the US. Jordan has had a hand in the operations of the award-winning Napa Rose Restaurant in Anaheim and the openings of Pinot Provence, Pavilion and Bella Teresa – top restaurants in southern California. He is currently vice president of food and beverage of The Ranch restaurant in Anaheim, CA.
“I am honored and delighted to work in the roll as honorary chair of the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. It has been an absolute favorite wine event for me, something I have really enjoyed participating in each year,” Jordan said. “I am looking forward to working with the amazing team of top industry professionals that produce one of the most seamless and well-run competitions in the world.”
With the assistance of Jordan’s expertise and background, the 73-year-old competition is expecting to grow its number of entries and participants as well as increase consumer awareness. The competition is the foundation of a large public wine education program that’s available to the nearly 1.5 million visitors during the annual L.A. County Fair. Said Jordan: “The public looks to the LAIWSC to evaluate the wines, spirits and olive oils that are entered from around the world. The top award winners are also presented during the L.A. County Fair along with daily seminars and tastings given by the best and brightest in the wine industry. It is a fun way to taste and learn!”
Results of the competition will be announced June 18. The public will get its first opportunity to taste the award-winning wines, as well as spirits, beers and extra virgin olive oils, at FUN Decanted on June 23. A food and drink festival here at Fairplex, FUN Decanted offers tastings, education stations, fabulous food trucks and great entertainment. The inaugural event last year was a total blast. Tickets are $50 each. For more info or to purchase tickets, click here.