From a college professor to an award-winning wine writer

Dr. Elizabeth Smith is a former college professor and wine club manager turned award-winning writer, copywriter, and wine and writing competition judge. She is the Creative Partner and Brand and Marketing Director for Danube Wines, a wine importer and retailer based in Bristol, United Kingdom, whose focus is Central European wines.

Elizabeth’s writing awards include the 2017 Born Digital Wine Award for Best Tourism Content with a Focus on Wine and the 2022 Koch Winery category in the annual Hungarian Wines Web Wine Writing Competition. She was also a finalist in the 2023 Wine Travel Awards “The Brightest Journey” category and served as a jury member for the 2023 Winelovers Wine Awards Competition in Budapest, Hungary, and Open Balkan Wine Trophy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Elizabeth holds a doctoral degree in community college education, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in French, a graduate minor in Spanish, and Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Level 3 Advanced designation. She is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers, Les Dames d’Escoffier International Sacramento and Sonoma chapters, and the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association.

Exciting journey to Central Europe

In July 2023, Elizabeth returned to Central Europe, where she spent two and a half days in Slovakia visiting three wineries – Tajna, Kasnyik, and Château Bela – then returned to Budapest to serve as a jury member for the Winelovers Wine Awards. She concluded her trip at Koch Winery, which has locations in Hajós-Baja and Villány – and makes wines of all styles, including whites, rosé, traditional method sparkling, and reds.

Exploring the world of wine

After returning to the United States, the Slovak magazine VINOTÉKA interviewed her about her visit and her impression of Slovak wines in the world market.
Elizabeth returned to Hungary again in late September 2023. Her itinerary included wineries making wines in four regions – Szentesi in Etyek-Buda, Fekete Pince and Somlói Vándor in Somló, 2HA in St. György Hill (Lake Balaton region), and Márkvárt in Szekszárd.

In November 2023, Elizabeth returned to Central Europe – this time, Serbia – where she served as a jury member for the Open Balkan Wine Trophy in Belgrade and attended Wine Vision by Open Balkan. She concluded her trip with a two-day wine study tour – including visits to Zvonko Bogdan, Deurić, Fruškogorski, Erdevik, Temet, Aleksandrović, Matijašević, and Jeremić – plus a Discover Šumadija workshop. She recently wrote her first article about Serbia featuring Deurić and winemaker Mirko Niškanović.

In December 2023, after much deliberation, she chose the 2020 Fekete fkt ‘Gábor’ Hárslevelű Somló and Fekete Pince as her wine and winery of the year.

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