Texas Wine Lover was invited to the event for the purposes of this press coverage. However, all opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
The Periwinkle Foundation’s Iron Sommelier 2017, presented by AUTOSOL, was held November 9th at The Houstonian Hotel. 14 of Houston’s best sommeliers competed for the title of Iron Sommelier while 600 people enjoyed the evening of wine and food. More than $290,000 was raised for Periwinkle’s Camps, Arts, and Survivor programs for children, teens, and their families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Competitors were judged by their theme, along with their presentation and knowledge of the wines they selected to pour. Judges for the competition were Master Sommeliers David Keck of Goodnight Charlie’s, June Rodil of McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group, and Keith Goldston of Mastro’s Steakhouse. These are the Sommeliers who were there along with the theme they chose in alphabetical order by their last name:
- Andres Blanco– Wines of Mexico
- Farrah Cauley – The World of Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast (CA)
- Angie Chang – Where Are They Now? Escaping the Stigma of Wine Trends Past
- Adele Corrigan– Dry Aging, Not Just for Steaks: Various Expressions of Amorne della Valpolicella
- Matt Crawford– English Sparkling Wines… The Next Big Things!
- Jane-Paige B. D’Huyvetter– Savoy Vineyard: California Grand Cru
- Chris Fleischman – Santa Barbarra (CA)
- Lindsay Huntsman – Gamay-king Me Crazy: Expressions of an Underrated Grape
- Brandon Kerne– How to Fight a Windmill with a Corkscrew: A Quixotic Spanish Wine Adventure
- Thomas Moësse– Canary Islands Wines
- Samantha Porter– Who Runs the World? Women Winemakers Spanning the Globe
- Matthew Pridgen– Texas, Naturally
- Shepard Ross– Back to the Future… Time Travel and the Natural Wine Movement
- Evan Turner– Ultimate Terroir: The Wines of Santorini (Greece)
The wines presented by the Sommeliers were, as usual, excellent. Shepard Ross had one wine from Southold Farm + Cellar which was a Long Island winery, but has now relocated to the Texas Hill Country. Another Texas winery’s wines being poured was from La Cruz de Comal, and was the entire theme from Matthew Pridgen.
We arrived at the start of the event, and within 40 minutes, there was a large number of people already present enjoying and partaking among the different presentations. Besides the fantastic wine, a great selection of bites was available.
In the center of the room was a silent auction area including donations from Texas wineries Fall Creek Vineyards, Nice Winery, and McPherson Cellars.
At the end of the evening, Andres Blanco was the 2017 Iron Sommelier winner, adding to his accomplishments since being announced as the TEXSOM 2017 Best Sommelier. It is no surprise that Blanco is perfecting his craft as he also competed for TEXSOM’s Best Sommelier competition in 2014, and Texas Wine Lover featured him and the other Houston Sommeliers at that time.
These were the other awards presented:
- 1st runner up – Angie Chang
- 2nd runner up – Evan Turner
- Underwriter Tasting Room, Best Presentation – Co-winners Lindsay Huntsman and Evan Turner
- People’s Choice – Andres Blanco
It had been another great Iron Sommelier event. Look for announcements next year when tickets go on sale!
Photos by Jim Rector except where noted.