The Tasting Panel magazine

Tasting Panel October 2010

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EVENTS WRAP-UP The 2010 TexSom Conference Shows Texas Is Serious about Wine I TexSom co-founders Drew Hendricks, MS (left) and James Tidwell, MS. n the six years of its existence, TexSom has become the networking and education event for Master Sommeliers in the Lone Star State—and beyond. This year, about 250 attendees and another 50 volunteers and speakers representing 20 states gathered at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas for two days of education and tasting. The conference was bookended by music and dining events at Pappas Restaurant. “Texas had a reputation for not being sophisticated for wine, but we knew it to be different. So by inviting the outside wine world, we created an exchange and brought other people together in Texas,” says James Tidwell, MS, Beverage Manager at Four Seasons. Tidwell co-founded of the conference along with Drew Hendricks, MS, Director of Beverage Education for Pappas Restaurants. The conference is the site for the Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition, a rigorous three-part examination involving service, blind tasting and theory. Twenty wine pros competed for the scholarship, and this year Jason Huerta of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas took the prize. Educational components included a wine faults seminar and a scientifi c look at Pacifi c Northwest terroirs. Says Tidwell, “We were afraid of going too geeky, but they were well-received, and that goes to show that people are interested in all sorts of education.” TexSom 2011 will be held at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Collinas Aug. 14–15, 2011. For complete information, visit —Lana Bortolot Vintners Rock for Charity at “Roll Over Beethoven” O n a balmy night in July, an all-star cast of Napa Valley amateur musicians and a sold-out house of 200 gathered at Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville for a benefi t performance and live auction that raised $87,000 for Napa Valley’s chamber music festival, Music in the Vineyards ( The evening included interludes of chamber, jazz and rock music performed by vintners, industry friends and a handful of professionals who brought down the house with a closing medley rendition of Chuck Berry’s classic “Roll Over Beethoven.” Silver Oak Cellars host David Duncan, who wore multiple hats as guitarist, vocalist and auctioneer, joined vintner Jeff Gargiulo in auctioning eleven sought-after lots that included a San Francisco Bay yachting adventure courtesy of Alpha Omega, a barbeque for 20 with the rock vintners themselves at Gargiulo Vineyards and a cocktail party for 50 guests created by star mixologists Jacques Bezuidenhout and Erick Castro and donated by THE TASTING PANEL.* Winning bidder of the mixology lot Jackie Jackson received a selection of tequilas from Uno Dos Tres Organic Tequila as a take-home gift. The evening raised more than $67,000 for the program and nearly $20,000 for the festival’s Merit Award, which sup- ports graduating seniors in Napa County high schools in pursuing classical music education at the university level. A “Roll Over Beethoven” ensemble performs the Eagles’ “Hotel California” at Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville. *Brands interested in participating in the cocktail party can contact Meridith May at mmay@tastingpanelmag. com or 818-990-0350. 24 / the tasting panel / october 2010 C M Y CM MY CY CMY K PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT PHOTO: CHICK HARRITY

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