The wine industry has lost a good man and friend with the passing of Ben Pearson, accomplished wine judge and wine buyer. Ben had a long association with the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and formerly Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition — nearly 30 years of judging up in Cloverdale. All the judges loved working with Ben because he had a tremendous palate and offered sensible dialogue concerning the merits of the wines. He always was an advocate of the wine consumer and kept that as a large basis of his evaluation of the wines. Ben was a good listener and considerate of other panelists while collaborating with his fellow judges to determine the wine awards. He was truly a model of what a professional judge should be.
Ben was also a long standing judge of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. He was a strong supporter of both the Chronicle and Harvest Fair competitions with his retail outreach efforts on the floor at Bottle Barn. Ben was a local favorite of Sonoma County/Bay Area consumers as he was sought out for his never ending suggestions of wines to purchase. I personally worked with Ben at the Santa Rosa Junior College Wine Studies Program classes for over two decades, and his assistance and advice were invaluable to me.
Ben Pearson was a good friend to many and he will be dearly missed.