Somm Madness Tournament

Powered by DineAmic Group, Somm Madness brings together the nation's wine and sommelier community along with wine enthusiasts for a blind tasting tournament unlike any other. Sixty-four individuals will go head-to-head to advance to the championship round with the ultimate hope of taking home the grand prize: $10,000 cash.

April 14, 2019
4pm - Tailgate Tasting
6pm - Somm Madness Tournament

Builders BLDG
222 N LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60601

Tailgate Tasting Party

Prior to the tournament kick-off, the 1st annual Tailgate Tasting Party will feature over 200+* wines in a walk-around reception in addition to grand food display of DineAmic's signature bites by Siena Tavern, Prime & Provisions, Bar Siena, BomboBar & more. All ticketholders are invited to watch the Somm Madness tournament and enjoy passed bites. Purchase via "Ticket" Tab

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the James Beard Foundation's Impact Programs.

*Tailgate Tasting Wineries Include...
A to Z, Achaval Ferrer, Albert Bichot, Alexander Valley, Antinori, Argot, Banfi, Beckham, Belle Glos, Bertani, Blackbird, Bruno Giacosa, Cade, Cakebread, Caymus, Chappellett, Charles Heidsieck, Charles Smith, Chateau le Nerthe,Cloudy Bay, Daou, Donnafugata, Duckhorn, Dutton, Goldfield, Faust, Fetzer, Flowers, Foxen, Franciscan, Fredrick Wildman, Gallo, Heitz, Henriot, Hess, Hourglass, Hyland, Inglenook, Jackson Family, Jordan, Joseph Phelps, Justin, Laurent Perrier, Martin Ray, Moet Hennessey, Montes Alpha, Mt Veeder, Odette, Orin Swift, Pahlmeyer, Palm Bay, Paul Hobbs, Plumpjack, Rex Hill, Ridge, Robert Mondavi, Ruffino, Santa Margarita, Scarpetta, Shafer, Shannon Ridge, Siduri, Silver Oak, Simi, St Suprey, Tattinger, Terlato, The Prisoner Wine Co, Trinchero, Van Duzer, Vietti, Westmount, Whispering Angel, Winderlea



Each Participant Will Partake In A Blind Taste Test & Have A Specified Amount of Time To Provide Written Answers In Accordance with CMS Standards. Winner Advances To The Next Round.

Round 1: 64

32 Matches  •  1 Wine  •  90 seconds

Round 2: 32

16 Matches  •  1 Wine  •  90 seconds

Round 3: Sweet 16

8 Matches  •  2 Wines  •  3 minutes

Round 4: Elite 8

4 Matches  •  2 Wines  •  3 minutes

Round 5: Final 4*

2 Matches  •  2 Wines  •  3 minutes

Round 6: Championship*

1 Match  •  2 Wines  •  3 minutes

*Participants must provide answers verbally in accordance with CMS Standards

All contestants and spectators must purchase Tailgate Tasting ticket. See 'TICKET' tab 



  • Joseph Spellman

    Master Sommelier 

    Frequent instructor + examiner in Court of Master Sommeliers. Named "Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines & Spirits" and 1998's Bon Appetit "Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year." Contributor to Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Sante, Decanter, and Appellation.

  • Fred Dame

    Master Sommelier 

    Most of the renowned and revered sommeliers in the world. Global Wine Ambassador for DAOU Vineyards & Winery. Founder of the American Branch of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Former Vice President of Prestige Accounts for American Wine & Spirits of California. An inductee of the American Academy of Chef's Hall of Fame. One of only 250 individuals worldwide to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination. Winner of the coveted Krug Cup of British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984. Active member of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs. Chairman of Board of Holds honorary professorships at Purdue University and The University of South Carolina.

  • John Laloganes

    Author & Director of Beverage Management, Kendall College 

    IACP 2012's "Sommelier/Wine Steward of the Year." Founder and educator of Kendall's Wine Professional Program. Laureate Global Products & Services Award for Innovation. Beverage Book Judge for International Association of Culinary Professionals. Author of highly-acclaimed books such as The Essentials of Wine & Food Pairing Techniques and more.

  • Serafin Alvarado

    Master Sommelier 

    Director of Wine Education, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of IL. Sommelier at Charlie Trotter's. 2005 recipient of the Bill Rice distinguished Sommelier of the Year Award. Crain's Chicago's "The Top 40 Under 40" Winner. Board Member for The Guild of Sommeliers. Chair of The Guild of Sommelier's Scholarship Committee. Guitar Player.