TEXSOM: Stands for Some Smart Texas Sommeliers

This year's Texas Sommelier Conference culminates in a Grand Tasting open to the public

TEXSOM: Stands for Some Smart Texas Sommeliers

For the second straight year, Austin will host the Texas Sommelier Conference on Aug. 17 and 18 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event will be open to the public on Sunday, when a gaggle of master sommel­iers will teach on and lead guided tastings of the wines of Washington, Argentina, the Loire Valley in France, North and Central Italy, and Bordeaux's Médoc and Graves.

Most of the attendees are people who want to be master sommeliers, but the sponsors, including our own Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, have decided to allow the public to attend the Sunday sessions, as well as the Grand Tasting on Monday night. That gives the public the opportunity to hobnob with the sommeliers and taste some of the same high-end wines they live on.

During the day on Monday, the classes will only be available to members of the trade, and besides covering some fascinating wine regions, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and hear Bartholomew Broad­bent, one of the world's reigning experts on Port and Madeira. While the classes are going on, several brave Texas sommeliers will be subjecting themselves to two days of rigorous testing, going for the title of Texas' best sommelier. Austin folks won the last two years, so there's obviously some civic pride here, as well as plenty of competitiveness.

The Monday night Grand Tasting is the public's opportunity to try some of the great wines that will have been on display and to meet and ask questions of all the experts who taught the classes. For anyone passionate about wine, the Grand Tasting offers more concentrated wine brainpower than at any other time of the year. Plus, you can yell and applaud when they announce the winner of Texas' Best Sommelier Competition.

For more information and tickets, go to www.texsom.com.

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TEXSOM, Texas Sommelier Conference, Grand Tasting, Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, Bartholomew Broad­bent, Texas' Best Sommelier Competition, wine

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