Its like Christmas in August, or, summer camp for wine pros. The tenth anniversary of the Texas Sommelier Conference, AKA TEXSOM, held at the Four Seasons Hotel Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas drew 900 sommeliers and wine enthusiasts to participate in educational seminars, wine tastings and tons of fun networking.
This year 39 Master Sommeliers, 10 Certified Wine Educators and six Masters of Wine presented 23 seminars on beverage topics. Highlights for me included:
- A panel exploring lesser-known regions of the United States that are making bad-ass wines presented by Sally Mohr MS, Guy Stout MS, Paul Lukacs, Wayne Belding MS, Marguerite Thomas, Kathy Morgan MS, moderated by Alfonso Cevola CSW. The Colorado Syrah and Texas wines stood out for me.
- A fun session tasting of Napa Valley wines led by Master of Wine Peter Marks who did it Jeopardy style.
- A tasting of the ridiculously delicious, but impossible to get wines of Portugal led by Master Sommeliers Devon Broglie and Keith Goldston.
- An incredibly enlightening session on the most dynamic producers in Chile and Argentina presented by Craig Collins MS and Peter Neptune MS, AIWS, CWE.
- A seminar and tasting on the Italian sparkling wine region Franciacorta led by Charles Curtis MW and Michael Franz, editor of Wine Review Online.
- And the pièce de résistance, a retrospective tasting of ’75, ’77, ”80, ’87, ’91, ’97, ’05 and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chappellet Winery with Frederick L. Dame MS, Jay James MS, and Cyril Chappellet. Crazy good wines.
The whole thing is capped off with a Grand Tasting sponsored by the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas where the winner of the Texas’s Best Sommelier Competition is announced. Here are a few images from the Grand Tasting.
My favorite part of the event is talking with Texas winemakers and wine pros from around the world before and after the sessions. Enjoy the images of this spectacular conference.
Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to attend this conference at no charge.