The 9th annual Texas Sommelier Conference, or TEXSOM, has come and gone marked by excellent education sessions, gallons of premium wines tasted and summarily spit into buckets and countless hangovers suffered through. It was a rich experience for more than 500 people thirsty for knowledge about the beverage industry.
The backbone of the conference is made up of enlightening seminars on topics like Traditional Method Sparkling Wines from Around the World, Bordeaux, Sake, Bourbon, Iconic White Wines of the Loire Valley and several regional focuses. I can’t tell you what my favorite session was, but a joke that Kim McPherson, winemaker at McPherson Cellars told me puts one session into stark relief.
The joke: What is the difference between Australian Shiraz and gonorrhea?
You can get rid of gonorrhea.
Australian wine is crap. That’s common knowledge. But its totally inaccurate. Master Sommeliers, Matt Stamp and Eric Entrikin, led a session on modern Australian wines in which they completely debunked that notion by describing new wine making techniques and pouring eight unbelievably elegant wines. I just might be a convert.
The sessions are fantastic, but the real highlight is the camaraderie with an amazing community of wine professionals. The shared experience, the passion and the drive for continual improvement is exhilarating.
I’ll let the pictures tell the story of what happened at TEXSOM 2013 (OK, not the after hours part of the story).