TEXSOM Preview: From Chianti to Carignan and Even Cold Beer

Posted on: August 7th, 2015 by

texsomHey there! I am off to Texas to attend TEXSOM this weekend. What is TEXSOM? I like how the Twitter profile for the event puts it: “Annual event for beverage pros from around the world held in Dallas, Texas in August. That’s right August! #TEXSOM” (In other words, we know how hot it’s going to be, ok?)

Anyway, it is a powerhouse conference full of seminars and tastings. Here’s what I’ll be learning about as far as the former is concerned:

  • Regional Focus: The Aspects of Chianti and Tuscan Sangiovese

This will be led by Alfonso Cevola, who writes one of my favorite wine blogs and is Import Wine Director for Glazer’s, and Shelley Lindgren, Wine Director/Owner of San Francisco’s A16.

  • Wild Beers: Old and New World

This will be led by not one, but two Master Sommeliers: Thomas Burke and Melissa Monosoff. I love beer, and I love collaborating with beer bloggers.

  • Variety Focus: Carignan

Can’t say I’m an expert on this grape and usually experience it blended. This is a panel moderated by Greg Harrington, Master Sommelier and Founder/Winemaker at Washington State’s own Gramercy Cellars. (Different grape, but read what he had to say about Mourvédre.) He’ll be joined by three (!) Master Sommeliers (W. Scott Harper, Larry O’Brien, Guy Stout) and a Master of Wine (Dilek Caner).

  • Tasting Focus: Distinguishing Winemaking Choices

A duo of Master Sommeliers, Matthew Citriglia and Geoff Kruth are at the helm of this seminar that will be very interesting for honing my tasting chops.

  • Australia and New Zealand: Commonalities of New Wave Producers

Yup, two Master Sommeliers are my guide for this journey: Cameron Douglas and Andrew McNamara.

  • Iconic Winery Retrospective: Kumeu River Wines

Looking forward to going deep into the wines of this New Zealand producer with Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich.

four seasons las colinas

The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, where TEXSOM is held. (Photo from website.)

Also, I’ve been getting into this really cool app called Periscope that allows me to shoot live video from my phone, so expect some appearances there. Find me @jamesonfink. I’ll be chatting about wine (duh) and answering any questions from the audience. (If you have Periscope and follow me on Twitter, you will also see a tweet with a link to the stream when I’m live.)

Finally, looking forward to seeing TEXSOM Co-Founder James Tidwell. (And many other folks I see chiming in on Facebook and Twitter who I didn’t know would be there. Cool!) He’s a Master Sommelier and the Beverage Manager and Sommelier at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, where TEXSOM takes place. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a visit to Portgual back in 2012. Check out my roundup of posts about that trip.

I was comped registration and accommodations for this event.


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