8th BIWC, Sofia, 5-9 June 2019
National Palace of Culture
Open Air Festival
8th BIWC, Sofia, 5-9 June 2019
National Palace of Culture
Open Air Festival

// Judges 2019

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Konstantinos Lazarakis MW

BIWC Chairman, Greece
Konstantinos Lazarakis MW

After studying jazz guitar and mechanical engineering on the National & Technical University of Athens, I became Sommelier of Jajazzo Restaurant in Athens - the first restaurant in Greece to hire a full time sommelier and the first to be awarded a Michelin star.
Now I work as an Imports Manager and Wine Buyer in AIOLOS ltd and the Managing Director of Wine and Spirits Professional Consultants that run WSET courses in Greece.
In the last two years I have been involved in wine writing and wine journalism and I now write for four Greek publications as well as having 'Wines of Greece' published as a part of the Mitchell Beazley Classic Wine Library in Sept. 2005. In addition, I consult for wine producers, hotels and restaurants.

Count John Salvi MW

United Kingdom/ France
Count John Salvi MW

Count John Salvi is an English Master of Wine who has lived for the last 35 years in Bordeaux.  He is also an oenologist who studied under the famous Professor Peynaud at Bordeaux University.

After 40 years in the wine trade as negociant, shipper, wine-maker and professional taster, he now devotes his time to sharing his great knowledge with wine-lovers.  Apart from travelling extensively to the many vineyard areas of the world, where he is much in demand as judge, consultant and taster, he accompanies and guides the wine-tours of his wife Nellie Salvi’s company Vino Fino.  John lives in Margaux, in the Medoc, not five minutes from Chateau Margaux, and was involved with Chateau Palmer for 40 years.

he is a professional wine-writer and journalist, a member of the British Circle of Wine Writers, founder and committee member of the Federation Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains de Vin (Brussels), member of the Association Francaise des Jounalistes et Ecrivains de Vin (Paris), member of the Senior Livery of the Worshipful Company of Vintners (Great Britain), member of the Institute of Masters of Wine (London), and represents Great Britain at the International Union of Oenologists.

Passionate about food and wine, especially the marriage of food and wine without snobbery or mysticism, he is also a member of the French Institute of Gastronomy, The Association Française pour la Gastronomie et le Tourisme (Paris), and the Association des Informateurs et Chroniqueurs dans le Domaine de la Gastronomie et du Vin (APCIG, Paris).

Beverly Tabbron MW

United Kingdom
Beverly Tabbron MW

Beverly Tabbron MW graduated from Kings College London in 1979 with a BA joint honours degree in German and Latin.Having started in the wine trade back in 1978, 1996 was a busy year as she passed her MW and in the same year took on the role as buyer at Hallgarten.

Since 2014 she has been responsible for purchasing for France as well as holding the position of Head of Training and Education. In 2018 she celebrated her 40th year at Hallgarten and is delighted to be guiding their industry-leading training team as well as continuing to discover new and interesting wines from around the world.

Rod Smith MW

United Kingdom/ France
Rod Smith MW

Rod Smith MW is a wine educator, marketer and salesman, based in the South of France. Currently with a client list that includes the world’s wealthiest, most discerning and demanding customers, Rod is the wine director of Vins Sans Frontières – the leading wine supplier to the superyacht industry.
Prior to this, Rod has worked in the UK for a variety of fine wine importers and retailers, as well as being an established WSET educator and occasional journalist. A Master of Wine since 2006, Rod has been extensively involved in judging wine competitions in London, Shanghai and Moscow.
Rod’s personal interests include cycling, running, travel, literature, card magic and film.

Darrel Joseph

United States
Darrel Joseph

Darrel Joseph, based in Vienna, Austria, is an internationalwine writer, judge and presenter specialising in the wines and wine regions of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe as well as the Caucasus countries. Since 1995, he has been writing for numerous publications including Decanter and Harpers Wine & Spirit in Great Britainand Meininger’s Wine Business International in Germany. In addition to his writing, Darrel participates as a judge in international wine competitionsin Europe and Asia, including the renowned Decanter World Wine Awardsin London. He is also a member of the tasting jury for the Gault & Millau wine guide in Austria. Darrel also conducts master classes and wine tastings at wine fairsand events in Europe and Asia, as well as for wine clubs, wine schools, businesses and private clients throughout Europe. He is a graduate of Boston University in the United States, and a member of the Circle of Wine Writers in Great Britain.

Igor Luković

Serbia
Igor Luković

Igor Luković is a wine critic, writer and journalist from Serbia, who has worked with wine and wine culture since 2003. He is Editor in chief in “Vino & Fino” magazine,  and associate of many other media dealing with wine and food culture.

At the same time, he is President of  the Sommelier Association of Vojvodina and CEO of the Serbian Sommelier Association. Actively is engaged in wine education, trainings, consulting and event managing, and as a  judge on the wine tastings. He works and lives between Belgrade and Novi Sad.

His beginnings in the wine business areas owner and Editor of “Gurman” and “Gastro Svet” magazines, and subsequently became General Manager of the company “Vinodrom”, engaged in importing and distributing wine.

Yasen Zahariev

Bulgaria
Yasen Zahariev

Iassen Zahariev is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at New Bulgarian University. He became professionally interested in wine after his first vintage in California in 1999. He had been working in different American and South Australian wineries for the next six years. Iassen has been a wine judge in various national and international competitions. He has been a member of DiVino team since its foundation and he is in charge of California, Australia and New Zealand tastings. Besides the philosophy disciplines at the New Bulgarian University, he also teaches "Culture and Geography of Wine".

Serhat Narsap

Turkey
Serhat Narsap

Serhat Narsap (Msc, DipWSET) is a wine expert from London, and Managing Director of Sonvino Ltd based in London. After a successful career as a Civil Engineer nationally and internationally, Serhat pursued his passion in wine. As the director of Sonvino, Serhat tastes thousands of wines a year before selecting and putting a wine in the portfolio. Serhat specialises in lesser known regions or varietals of the wine world. He is passionate to learn about the story behind each label and bring that back to the UK wine enthusiasts.

Serhat conducts private wine tasting events, vineyard tours and consults private clients with their restaurant business or private cellar. He has ambition to start the Master Wine programme in 2019.

Horia Hasnas

Romania
Horia Hasnas

Journalist starting with 1993, Horia has worked in a variety of roles, mainly in newspapers but also in television, as a reporter, editor, columnist and commentator. His journey through the wine world started in a natural manner: as wine lover and collector. His love for written stories and also for fine wines led him to the decision of starting a wine blog named “Vindinpresa” but the decisive step was made in January 2011 when he got his break as a wine writer - editor of “Vinul.Ro” magazine, which is the main publication in Romania dedicated to wine, wine producers and wine-savvy readers. Playing the editorial role by pairing suggestions and culinary trends, showcasing wine as an indispensable companion at the table, probing interviews and critical reviews he gain an extensive expertise by regularly participating in wine-tasting, national and international wine fairs and festivals and being member of wine-juries.

Vili Galabova

Bulgaria
Vili Galabova

Vili Galabova graduated as an economist, majoring in international economic relations. She has been involved with the world of wine since 1997. An international wine professional with 20 years of experience as wine exporter, wine journalist, critic, educator and wine judge, Vili is running her wine consultant company since 2011, and currently is working as a wine consultant and advisor for the Dutch CBI Agency, and several wineries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasian region. Her experience in wine extends across international sales, marketing and business development. Vili is passionate to drive change by bringing wine people together and has traveled around the world studying and understanding wine culture and wine markets.

Evangelos Beris, Ph.D.

Greece
Evangelos Beris, Ph.D.

Evangelos Beris holds a Ph.D. in Viticulture, M.Sc. in Biology and WSET Advanced. Since 2014, he is teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oenology & Beverage Technology of Athens University of Applied Sciences (TEI of Athens), both at the Under-graduate course (B.Sc., in Oenology & Beverage Technology) and the Post-graduate programme (M.Sc., in Wine and Beer Science).

He is the Director of the study programme: “Viticulture & Oenology” at IEK Praxis in Athens. Moreover, he has been working for several years as a Seminar Instructor and a Consultant of Viticulture, Wine Production and Wine Tourism. He has recently been consulting and collaborating with Estate Argyros (Santorini - Greece).

Ivana Simjanovska

Macedonia
Ivana Simjanovska

Ivana has been part of the wine trade since 2007, beginning as one of the co-founders and members of the board of the first Macedonian Wine Club, organizing wine tasting events and promoting wine culture in Macedonia, followed by co-authoring and publishing of the first Macedonian Wine Guide 2011 along with Dave Vlam and the second edition of MWG 2014 with Paul Caputo.

Today, Ivana is an international wine writer, critic and wine judge, having participated at some of the most prestigious wine competitions in Europe. She has also lectured on specialised subjects promoting Macedonian wines at numerous wine festivals and fairs throughout Europe.

Along with contributing to several magazines and wine publications she is also editor-in-chief of www.vino.mk, Macedonia's first online wine magazine, is a #winelover ambassador and works as Wine Tourism Specialist at Macedonia Experience. Ivana maintains a personal blog www.ivanasimjanovska.com and as of 2013 has been pursuing her Masters Degree in Enology at the Insitute of Agriculture in Skopje.

Mihaela Cojocaru

Italy/ Romania
Mihaela Cojocaru

Originally from Romania, Mihaela has been working in the wine industry since 2007. First as export manager for an Apulian winery, then as an independent wine consultant and from September 2017 she started the collaboration with Brandland srl.

After completing the sommelier courses with AIS, Mihaela started her WSET education with AccademiaVino. She passed Level 2 and Level 3 exams with distinction and, just as successfully, in august 2016 completed her Educator training in London. Now is running courses of Level 1&2 in Puglia (Bari, Lecce) and soon in Friuli (Trieste). She is currently studying for WSET Diploma, after which will join the Master of Wine programme - her ultimate dream!

Tzveta Tanovska

Bulgaria
Tzveta Tanovska

Tzveta Tanovska has a Master's degree in Economics. Wine is her hobby and passion. She graduated specialized wine courses. Visits numerous exhibitions and master classes; monitors the periodical Bulgarian and foreign editions of wine-based themes. Judge in various wine competitions and periodicals. As of 2012 she is one of the authors of the annual wine guide and she tastes and evaluates all Bulgarian wines which are included in it. 

Dashamir Elezi

Albania
Dashamir Elezi

Dashamir Elezi holds a Master in Civil and Trade Right. He is a Master Sommelier since 2003 and President of Albanian Sommeliers Association. Member of International Jury of contest ‘’Best Italian Sommelier ASPI’’ - Milano November 2017, Member of Jury of the Albanian Wine Contest 2014, Member of International Jury of European Sommeliers Contest organized to Sanremo-Montecarlo 2013, Member of International Jury in the World Contest of Sommeliers - Tokio 2013. Since 2015 he is cofounder and CEO of Wine shpk company. 

Dashamir holds a license from Ministry of Work and Social Affair for professional training for sommeliers and winemakers.

Katia Iontcheva

Bulgaria
Katia Iontcheva

Katia Iontcheva has a Master's degree in Economics from the University of National and World Economy and in Oenology from UFT. She holds DiplomaWSET. In 1999 she started working at the biggest Bulgarian industrial winery at that time. Four years later she became one of the first importers of wine in Bulgaria, and for a long time the only one from South Africa. Later on, she added to her portfolio wines from from Spain, Chile and Argentina. She has been a wine judge at prestigious wine competitions in Bulgaria and Europe. As of 2012 she is one of the authors of the annual wine guide and she tastes and evaluates all Bulgarian wines which are included in it. She believes that only the joint work of wine professionals will lead to the popularization of Bulgarian wine. Her passion for wine has taken her along the wine routes across all continents.

Elod Adam

Hungary/ Romania
Elod Adam

Elod Adam has over 18 years of wine industry experience.  Although his family has made wine for personal consumption, he truly started understanding and appreciating wine after he has immigrated to the US. Following his Sommelier Certification he became Wine Director for a highly regarded Italian restaurant. After achieving his Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Wine Educator titles from the Society of Wine Educators he was hired as a Wine Manager and Educator for Brescome Barton Inc.., one of the largest beverage distributors in the region. In 2012 he became North East Manager for Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd  - a Virginia based importer, where he managed the promotion and distribution of the portfolio in six states. In 2014  he was hired as Metro New York Manager for Kobrand Corporation. He has also judged and organized master classes and tasting seminars at various Wine Festivals.

In 2016 he has moved to Romania where he has started his own wine consulting and importing business. He has continued his wine judging in various wine competitions such as The Top 100 Hungarian Wines, The Top 100 Romanian Wines, WineUp, …  While he is not working, he is studying at the Institute of Masters of Wine where he is hoping soon to become a MW.