Blind Tasting Seminar w/ Master Sommelier John Blazon
June 19, 2019 | 11:30am – 12:30pm | Location: Aviary Wine & Kitchen
John Blazon MS is Vice President for The Spire Collection since February 2010. The Spire Collection is a luxury driven division representing the artisan brands from the Jackson Family wine portfolio. As its educational and sales brand ambassador, John travels the US to work with their talented team of sommeliers in key markets focusing on collector and AAA accounts to build and strengthen equity for a unique selection of handpicked brands, estate owned globally.
A 37-year veteran within the Hospitality/Beverage industry, John attributes his wine start to be managing a program in Washington DC in the mid 80’s where the opportunity was given to build upon an all-American wine list selection for Restaurant Chardonnay located at the Park Terrace Hotel. At that time the Nation’s Capital wine vibe was earning attention yet centered mainly around European offerings supporting a classic food scene. “New American” cuisine was being explored and California wines were gaining traction. Following a feature in the Wine Spectator for receiving the “Best Award of Excellence”, John decided to write to every California wine owner and vintner inviting them to stay at his hotel with a special winemaker rate. Vintner relationships were being forged for a lifetime.
In 1987 John became the opening F&B Director for Ford’s Colony, an upscale Country Club in Williamsburg VA, John created another “Best of Award of Excellence” wine program and set restaurant on its path for achieving AAA Five Diamonds.
Perhaps most noted as the former wine director for Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, John’s 14-year tenure drove the development of wine concepts and standards, including product selection, service and training for 55 restaurants, 20 lounges, 18 resorts, 3 theme parks which also included Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.
Receiving his master sommelier diploma from the International Court of Master Sommeliers, during a fall 2004 exam in London, England, John became the 59th MS for the American Chapter. Today there are 164 Master Sommeliers in the United States and 255 worldwide.
In 2003, Blazon’s efforts were applauded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), which awarded its “America’s Best Wine Lists Special Innovation” honor to Walt Disney World Resort at the Monterey Wine Festival. In addition, Santé magazine named Blazon its 2003 “Wine Professional of the Year.
John continued to develop educational courses for Disney’s food and beverage team which included the Disney sommelier certificate program in partnership with the Court of Master Sommeliers. More than 750 cast members passed the introductory certificate level since the training began in 2000, which is a greater number than any food and beverage organization in the world. In 2006, Blazon was recognized by The STARWINE International Wine Competition as their “Sommelier of the Year.” In 2008 and 2013, John was elected to serve two terms on the board for the Court of Master Sommeliers and was appointed as an inaugural board member to the Guild of Sommeliers.