Insights

From the Judge's Table: Insights from Kasia Kutryba Wine Consultant at Binny's Beverage Depot

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15/04/2024 Unlocking the World of Wine: A Journey with Kasia Kutryba at Sommeliers Choice Awards

In our recent interview series, we are able to get some insights from Kasia Kutryba, a distinguished Wine Consultant at Binny's Beverage Depot. Her journey from the historical city of Krakow to the bustling wine market of Chicago showcases a deep passion for wine, marked by continuous learning and notable achievements.

Kasia is participating as a judge in the 6th edition of the Sommeliers Choice Awards. SCA is now open for entries, wine brands looking to elevate their presence in the on-premise sector are invited to participate before the April 24 deadline.

Kutryba's fascination with the hospitality industry began in her hometown of Krakow, a city teeming with tourism and a rich history. After completing her education in Hotel Management, she delved into the wine industry, initially working as a wine advisor for Terra Gallos. It was here that Kutryba began to appreciate the intricate details of wine, which fueled her passion further.

Kutryba’s move to Chicago marked a significant phase in her career. She joined Sam's Wine & Spirits, where she immersed herself in the local wine culture through various seminars and training programs. Her pursuit of knowledge led her to obtain a Sommelier Diploma from the International Sommelier Guild. Over the past thirteen years at Binny's Beverage Depot, Kutryba has not only enhanced her understanding of global wine varieties but has also catered to a diverse clientele, ensuring high standards of customer service and professionalism. Her efforts have earned her multiple accolades, including the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Level 3 Award in Wines, and she is currently pursuing the WSET Diploma level.

Kutryba’s role as a judge at the Sommeliers Choice Awards highlights her deep understanding of the industry's needs. She notes that the Awards' unique criteria, which emphasize drinkability, packaging, and value, align well with modern consumers' preferences. These consumers seek both tradition and accessibility, demanding wines that are not only true to their origins but also enjoyable and easy to understand.

Through her experiences as a judge, Kutryba has identified several emerging trends within the wine industry. There is a growing demand for premium rosé wines from various regions and an increased interest in wines made with minimal intervention. Additionally, wines from indigenous and lesser-known grape varieties are gaining popularity, reflecting a broader trend of consumers exploring new and diverse wine profiles.

For smaller and emerging wineries, Kutryba believes that winning a medal at the Sommeliers Choice Awards can be transformative. Such recognition serves as a significant endorsement, enhancing a wine’s marketability and visibility. It provides consumers with a trusted indication of quality, aiding their selection process and offering wineries a substantial marketing advantage.

In her capacity as a judge, Kutryba emphasizes the importance of providing clear, honest, and actionable feedback. This feedback is crucial for entrants to understand how their wines stand in the competitive landscape and provides them with valuable insights into how they can improve.

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The Sommeliers Choice Awards, renowned for setting a benchmark in on-premise wine evaluations, invites brands aiming to enhance their market presence to enter before April 24. This competition offers an unmatched platform to showcase wines to some of America's top sommeliers and wine buyers. With a detailed scoring system and feedback provided by a panel of expert judges, including master sommeliers, this is a unique opportunity for wineries to understand and possibly improve their standing in a highly competitive market.

The 2024 Sommeliers Choice Awards results are out! View the results here.