Meet our Wine Competition Judges

Matthias Bougreau. I am a French native coming from a small town in the Loire Valley area, famous for its castles and Chenin Blanc wines. After a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Molecular Biology and a few years as a Project Manager in Microbiology for a Pharmaceutical Startup, I decided I wanted to change career and dedicate it to my passion for wine.

I passed the Level 2 certificate of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) at the Wine school of Paris, then I entered the French National Diploma of Enology and graduated top of my prom.

During those 2 years of intensive classes, I had the chance to learn and work in great wineries and with even greater people such as the former stage manager of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, one of the most famous winery in the word, and for the Languedoc’s world famous Gérard Bertrand’s Chateau l’Hospitalet, where I learned how to make great wines in great quantities.

After graduation, I was directly hired as a Winemaking Consultant, where I really learned all the different facets of wine production, advising around 70 wineries, seeing big and small ones, new and old ones, in all the famous AOCs of Languedoc.

After spending some holidays in Lubbock, TX, I met Dr. Guy Loneragan, Professor of Food Safety and Public Health and actual Interim Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University. Out common interests for microbiology and wine led me to start a PhD focused on the biodiversity and the finding of “new” fermenting microorganisms in Texas High Plains vineyards.

In 2015, I took advantage of an internship in Burgundy (France) to go back to the Wine School of Paris to pass with distinction the Level 3 certificate of the WSET.

This past year I started teaching classes for TTU as an instructor for the Plant and Soil Sciences department: “The Science of Wine”, the first class to take at TTU for Viticulture & Enology students; “Wine Quality Control and Analysis”, focused on quality of wine; and the “Wines of the World” class, in conjunction with the RHIM department, focused on wine tasting and offering the Level 1 certificate of the WSET.

Adam Ehmer – Started his wine Career in 2008 at Roanoke Vineyard in Riverhead, NY. Came to Texas as a Sommelier and Innkeeper at Rose Hill Manor and then became the Beverage Director and FOH Manager at Otto’s German Bistro in Fredericksburg, TX. Is currently working at RNDC as a District Manager, On Premise Wine Sales.

Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), Certified Specialist of Wine, WSET II with Distinction (won the Book Award), RNDC Graduate Level (internal exam for our company).

Andrew Wallace - I have been in the wine business for over 30 years. I started back in the UK after college working for a wine merchant. I then went to South Africa where I worked at a winery and opened up a fine wine liquor store in Johannesburg. I returned to Europe and worked at Ch Rausan Segla for the harvest before I made my way to the US where I have just completed my 20 years at RNDC as a fine rep and manager.

I have WSET 3 and the RNDC graduate level under my belt.

Andrew Fox – 13 years in the Alcohol Beverage Industry. Holds WSET Advanced and Certified Court of Master Sommeliers.

John Moore – 27 years in the restaurant/beverage industry. Currently employed with HEB, 3 years managing beer/wine in the Houston Market. Current certifications are: CSW, WSET 3, French Wine Scholar, Certified Spanish Wine Instructor, and International Sommelier Guild Level 2.

Andrew J. Chalk - Andrew Chalk is a Dallas-based author who writes about wine, spirits, beer, food, restaurants, wineries and destinations all over the world. He is a contributing writer and Dallas City Editor at The Daily Meal. His articles have appeared in John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet, Somm Journal,, Palate Press, Modern Lifestyles. He has also written for The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, and Food and Beverage Magazine. A full listing of his recent articles can be found here.

He holds the WSET Level 3 certification in wines and spirits, the Certified Specialist of Wine certification from the Society of Wine Educators and the Italian Wine Professional certification. He is a 2016 recipient of an open fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.

Jeremy Stiles - has over 19 years experience in the Alcohol Beverage industry. He is currently serving as VP of Chain Accounts at Ambiente Wine Importing Co, a wholesales distribution company based in Austin, Texas, dedicated to selling an excellent variety of wines and spirits statewide. Jeremy holds a Level 3 WSET Advanced and Certified Court of Master Sommeliers.

Kristin Short –As a Luxury Specialist for E&J Gallo Winery, Kristin shares insights for many of the prestigious Wineries, Distillery’s, properties and of course the wines and spirits within the portfolio. Some of the wineries include Orin Swift, J Vineyards, Talbott, Mount Peak (from Monte Rosso), Brancaia, Clarendon Hills, Saint Clair and Gallo Signature Series to list a few, as well as the distinguishing Scotch/Whiskey portfolio of The Dalmore and the historic Germain-Robin brandies.

Kristin began her career 22 years ago working for a large Beer company. During which time, she found her passion for wine and put herself through her wine studies to become an Advanced Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator. Throughout the last 12 years in the wine industry, she immersed herself in all aspects of the business from buying and selling, to viticulture and enology in Sonoma, Napa and New Zealand for a couple vintages. After a few years with-in a distributor in sales management, Kristin began a career with the Gallo Winery almost 5 year ago, that has allowed her to continue to teach and train consumers, buyers and sales to advance their knowledge of wine and spirits.

Kristin’s philosophy when it comes to wine is “It’s all about the Wine” ……..with food, while

traveling, in history, with family and friends and above all…. the memories.     

Dr. Rafael Ruiz- Dr. Ruiz started his Sommelier training with the United States Sommelier Association, and later completed formal Sommelier training attending the WSET Wine Educator Program at the International Wine Education Guild in Toronto, and the WSET Level 3 Award in Wine and Spirits at the International Wine Center in New York City.

He has experience training Qualitative Wine Sensory Evaluation to Enology and Viticulture students. Dr. Ruiz has provided private wine education programs, and pro bono consultation to farmers and aspiring winery owners as they embark in the development of products and marketing strategies.

Dr. Rafael Ruiz attended the Cox School of Business at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) where he completed a Graduate Marketing Certificate and an Entrepreneurship Certificate from the SMU Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship.

He has a vast international experience when he served as International Health Specialist for the USA Department of Defense where he performed as the Director for the Humanitarian Medical Operations in Latin America.

He is highly interested in consumer education and the evaluation, planning and development of products that meet market demands. He has been a member of the Texas Winemakers and Grape Growers Association since 2010 and has judged non-commercial wine competitions. His broad background helps him bring value in the training and capacitation of a cadre of future competent and innovative wine and spirits industry experts.

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