Last year, when I traveled to Friuli, Italy with a group of top U.S. sommeliers, I overheard their fearless and übercool leader, Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, tell his colleagues, "Every state should have a TexSom."
He was referring to the Texas Sommelier Conference, the annual Texas wine professionals conference, co-founded and curated by one of Houston's resident Master Sommeliers, Drew Hendricks, director of wine and education for Pappas Restaurants.
Now in its seventh year, the event brings together a tsunami of wine lovers, ranging from Texas-based restaurateurs, wine buyers, and wine enthusiasts to internationally renowned winemakers, Master Sommeliers (like Bobby), top-flight wine writers and raconteurs (this year, notable vinographs and James Beard winners Jordan MacKay and Rajat Parr are among the panelists).
As in years past, the conference will be held the second weekend in August at the Four Seasons in Dallas. But it unites wine professionals from across the the Lone Star State, many of them from Houston.
"Our goal is to educate as many people as we can," said Drew in an email, "and to provide scholarships and opportunities to young sommeliers."
In the name of vinous camaraderie and collegiality, the gathering offers aspiring wine educators, wine professionals, and future Master Sommeliers the chance to interact with some of the brightest luminaries and biggest stars in the U.S. wine industry today.
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They also open some damn-good bottles...