Somm Madness

Powered By DineAmic Group, Somm Madness brings together Chicago's local wine and sommelier community for a blind tasting tournament unlike any other. 64 individuals will go head-to-head to advance to the championship round with the ultimate hope of taking home the grand prize.

For participation consideration, visit the "COMPETE" tab.

April 16, 2018 • 5:30PM
Builders BLDG
222 N LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60601



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

Once contestants lose, the bar is open! 





Winner of Somm Madness Tasting Tournament Will Receive:

Trip For 2
First Class Airfare
Two Night Accommodations at Franciscan Estate in Napa Valley
VIP Winery Experiences at Franciscan Estate and Robert Mondavi Winery
$500 Dinner Credit
Transfers To / From Wine Country
$1,000 Cash
Engraved Tasting Medallion
Custom Engraved Champagne


Winner of Somm Madness Bracket Prediction Will Receive:

2 Tickets to Alinea


  • Joe Spellman

    Master Sommelier; Winery Sommelier for JUSTIN Vineyards + Winery

    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.

  • Jess Altieri

    Certified Sommelier; CEO of Wine Channel TV Network

    One of a handful of Water Sommeliers in the World. One of Wine Enthusiast's "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers." Named a 2018 Top 40 Wine influencer. Founder of podcast " Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri"

  • John Laloganes

    Director of Beverage Management, Kendall College; Educator, Sommelier, Author

    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.

  • Fernando Beteta

    Master Sommelier;  Education + Social Technology Director, TENZING

    One of 236 Master Sommeliers in the world. Named one of America's Best New Sommeliers by Wine & Spirits Magazine. Featured on Crain's Chicago Business + Wine Enthusiast's list of "40 Under 40"



For a chance to compete in the 2nd annual Somm Madness tournament, fill out the form below. Registration opens March 1st + closes April 1st. Final seedings will be announced on April 9th. .