Irving, Texas (August 10, 2015) –– TEXSOM co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell today announced at the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas Grand Tasting that Nathan Fausti of Olive & June in Austin, Texas is the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier. The 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition, presented by Texas Monthly, takes place during TEXSOM, the most prominent and influential wine education conference in the United States, held annually at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.
Fausti topped a strong field of 23 other competitors in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting and theory. An elite panel of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine judges named Fausti the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier at a ceremony on Monday evening. The competition is a key part of TEXSOM. To participate, candidates must be a current resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Texas and must not have passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Examination. Previously, only Texas sommeliers were allowed to apply for the competition.
“This year, we opened the competition to sommeliers from adjoining states,” said Tidwell. “Increasingly, the influence of TEXSOM reaches well beyond the borders of Texas, so we felt it was time to include a potentially larger group to participate. We offer hearty congratulations to Nathan for winning the competition this year, and look forward to next year’s competition.”
In addition to laying claim to the title of “2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier,” Fausti received a scholarship of $2,500 from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. David Donalson of Goody Goody Liquor in Dallas, Texas was the second runner up and will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and the 3rd place winner Luis La Torre of Spec’s Fine Wines in Dallas, Texas will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Held August 7th to 10th at the Four Seasons and co-presented by the not-for-profit organizations the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, Court of Master Sommeliers–Americas, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and Society of Wine Educators–TEXSOM is the only event of its kind in the United States. The speakers and judges constitute a who’s who list of the nation’s top wine professionals. Dozens of Master Sommeliers (MS), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), Masters of Wine (MW) and other respected industry professionals were integral parts of the conference.