2023 Norton Cup Challenge Judges

Todd Kliman


Todd Kliman is a prize-winning author, essayist, cultural critic, food writer, and teacher. He is the recipient of two James Beard Awards, including a 2016 MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his autobiography in seven meals (which is to be adapted for a one-man show at Firehouse Theater in Richmond). His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Oxford American, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post Magazine, and NPR online, among others, and been widely anthologized, including seven times in the Best Food Writing series.
He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Wild Vine, which examines the emergence of America through the story of a transgendered multi-millionaire vintner on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of an antebellum Richmond doctor, nearly lost to suicide, who attained the breakthrough that eluded Thomas Jefferson all his life. The Richmond Times-Dispatch hailed it “an outstanding work of literature.” The book has been optioned for film, with Kliman serving as Executive Producer.
Kliman taught literature and writing for 10 years at American University and Howard University. At Howard, he was the editorial director of Chris Rock's magazine of satire, The Illtop Journal, modeled after The Harvard Lampoon.
In addition to writing and teaching, Kliman has also been a salon host and a radio personality, serving as a recurring guest host for the Kojo Nnamdi Show in Washington, D.C.
He has lectured widely on food culture, wine, and media, including at: The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, the Smithsonian, the CIA, the U.S. State Department, the University of Missouri, the Missouri State Historical Society, the Virginia State Historical Society, the Library of Virginia, The Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, the Nazareth School (Ethiopia), the Brava Theatre and the Swedish American Hall (San Francisco).
Prior to the shutdown associated with Covid-19, Kliman was set to debut Tiny Gallery, in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., showcasing the work of painters and sculptors who defy classification. The launch has been delayed until 2023.
He is currently developing a podcast series based on a monologue he delivered in San Francisco just prior to the pandemic, about a little-known episode of the Spanish Inquisition.

Frank Morgan


Frank Morgan founded the wine-centric site, DrinkWhatYouLike.com in 2008 during the early days of wine blogging. His day job has him working for a global company and travels, in his words, “way too much” which means an average of 45 weeks a year.
Well known in the wine community, Frank lives in Virginia with his wife and is a Judge for the Governor’s Cup Competition. He is also involved in the Monticello Cup Competition and the Shenandoah Cup Competition, among other wine-related activities.

Follow him here
Bruce Zoecklein


Bruce Zoecklein is Enology Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. Bruce joined Virginia Tech after leaving California where he taught enology at California State University, Fresno to head up their Enology-Grape Chemistry Group in 1985. As member of the Virginia Tech community since 1985, Bruce has made significant contributions as head of the Enology-Grape Chemistry Group through research, teaching, and extension.

He wrote or co-wrote four books on wine chemistry and analysis that are used around the world, including a Spanish language text. Bruce has provided technical assistance to the governments of Argentina, China, Italy, Moldova, and Romania, and presented more than 400 educational programs, which provided the technical expertise that encouraged Virginia wine industry growth from 29 wineries in 1985 to well over 350 today.

In addition, Zoecklein held leadership positions in his professional societies, including as section chair of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, as member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Food Composition and Analyses and the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.

His contributions have been recognized by Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension, Gamma Sigma Delta’s Extension Excellence Award. He also received the Napa Valley Wine Council’s Research Award, Vinifera Winegrowers Achievement Award, and the Virginia Wine Person of the Year Award.

Erin Scala


Erin owns and runs the historic Market Street Wine shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is the editor and regular contributor for the Thinking-Drinking blog, and is a freelance wine journalist for various publications, including Wine & Country Living, Wine & Spirits, Knife & Fork magazine, and The C-Ville Weekly. Oh, and she has two hilarious children who can build just about anything out of a wine box. Yes, she loves wine, but it’s copious amounts of coffee that keep it all going!

In past vintages, Erin worked in New York City at several Michelin star restaurants, notably JoJo, PUBLIC, and The Musket Room, where her wine lists won awards and accolades. For half a decade she also ran the wine program at storied Fleurie Restaurant, where she built her ultimate dream wine list, including a map of Beaujolais painted in wine.

Erin also loves the world of audio, and for over 10 years, she was a pioneer of the wine podcast genre with her audio essays for the I’ll Drink to That wine podcast.

Named one of Wine Enthusiast's 40 Under 40 wine professionals to watch, her award winning wine lists have helped shine lights on interesting regions and unique topics, like sustainability, climate change, soil influence, and emerging wine regions. Erin received a James Beard Rhône Rangers Travel Study Grant to study Rhône varieties in California. She competed in the Sommelier Scavenger Hunt to find delicious Pinot Noirs in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Her work in wine has been noted in The Washington Post, Wine Spectator, Garden & Gun, The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, and she’s been a judge, speaker, and sommelier at various wine events around the world.


Joy Ting


Joy is the Research Enologist for the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange, where she works with Virginia winemakers to plan, conduct and evaluate practical experiments in the winery and share results with the winemaking community. She also produces a small line of wines under her own name. Prior to her post at the VWRE, Joy was the enologist and winemaker at Michael Shaps Wineworks in Charlottesville, Virginia. Joy holds a PhD in Applied Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has worked in the Virginia Wine industry since 2013.  


paul ting


Paul H. Ting fell in love with wine when he was stationed near Napa Valley while in the Air Force and has been pursuing this love ever since. He is WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 certified, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and has completed the Winemaking Certificate Program at the University of California, Davis. In addition, he has an interest in Japanese beverages and is certified as a Sake Professional, Sake Scholar, and Shochu Advisor. Currently, Paul works as a consultant and freelance writer and is a regular contributor to C’ville Weekly and Knife and Fork magazine.