I spent the better part -- actually the best part -- of the afternoon Tuesday sampling wines, first at a wholesalers' tasting and then as a judge for the Twin Cities Food & Wine Experience.

I'll have an upcoming post on that first event, but wanted to pass along the winners of the competition:

Best of Show Cabernet Sauvignon: Roberts & Rodgers 2005 Howell Mountain
Imported Red: Domaine Jean Bousquet 2006 Reserva Malbec
Meritage/Blend: Trinchero 2007 Napa Vineyard Meritage
Merlot: Northstar 2006
Pinot Noir: Artesa 2007 Carneros
Syrah/Shiraz: Shane 2007
Zinfandel: Terra d'Oro 2006 Deaver Vineyard
Chardonnay: Beringer 2007 Private Reserve
Imported White: Chateau La Font du Broc 2006
Sauvignon Blanc: Springfield Estate 2009 Special Cuvee
Riesling: Columbia Winery 2008 Cellarmaster's
Champagne/Sparkling: Ayala NV Brut Majeur
Best Value $15 & Under
Cabernet Sauvignon: Montes 2008 Classic Cabernet
Imported Red: Landskroon 2008 Bush Camp Our Daily Red
Meritage/Blend: Stelzner 2006 Claret
Merlot: Boomtown 2007
Chardonnay: Penfolds 2008 Koonunga Hill
Imported White: Vin de Pays de Mediterranee 2008
Sauvignon Blanc: Springfield 2009 Firefinch
Riesling: Dr. Loosen 2008 Dr. L
Champagne/Sparkling: Codorniu Brut Original NV All of these wines will be poured at the event this weekend (tickets available here), although many of them will be available only in the Reserve Room that costs an additional $20. Some other wines that I particularly enjoyed: two whites from Chateau Ste. Michelle (Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc and Indian Wells Chardonnay); the Golan Moscato, two from Beringer (Knights Valley Cabernet and 1876 Pinot Noir, the R. Stefano Meritage, the Tygerberg Chenin Blanc and the Punto Final malbec. My wine of the day: the Shane Syrah, made by Bloomington native Shane Finley, and everthing a cool-weather syrah should be.