If you have heard of Somms Under Fire before, you will be glad to know it will be back in 2018. And if you haven’t heard of it, you need to! The 7th annual event, organized by Keeper Collection, will be held at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, January 28, 2018.
Somms Under fire is a live sommelier wine and food pairing competition. The event begins with a VIP tasting seminar at 5:00 p.m. followed by the Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge. The wine and food pairing competition beings at 7:00 p.m. featuring cuisine from The Carillon Restaurant, a refined dining destination within the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center. The sommeliers will select an appropriate wine to pair with the dishes in front of a panel of expert judges and the audience.
Washington State Wine and Champagne Taittinger will both serve as sponsors for the event. Washington State Wine will serve as the VIP and Fan Favorite sponsor of 2018 Somms Under Fire. VIP ticketholders will enjoy an in-depth look into the wines of Washington during an exclusive tasting of eight wines and an educational program presented by Steve Warner.
Champagne Taittinger, one of the great Champagne houses of France, is the Official Champagne Sponsor of the 2018 Somms Under Fire. Taittinger will provide Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut NV for the VIP education session, and Taittinger La Francaise Brut NV to be served during the general session.
The three Finalists competing for the title of Somms Under Fire 2018 Champion (listed alphabetically below) are:
- Nick Davis, Advanced Sommelier and founder and creative director at Medium Plus, Seattle, WA.
- Michael “Mick” Descamps, Advanced Sommelier and wine director and sommelier at Red Wagon Wine Shoppes,Macomb, MI.
- Jill Zimorski, Advanced Sommelier and Champagne specialist representing Moët Hennessy USA Portfolio, Chicago, IL.
Three alternates have been selected to compete should a contestant not be able to participate. In order of rank, the alternates are:
- Morgan Harris, head sommelier at Aureole, New York, NY.
- Eric Crane, training director, Empire Distributors, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
- Keith Fergel, general manager, Taylor’s Kitchen, Sacramento, CA.
Somms Under Fire has assembled a panel of judges which includes high-profile wine industry personalities:
- Melissa Monosoff, Master Sommelier and Education Director, Court of Master Sommeliers Americas
- Bernard Sun, Luxury Accounts Manager, Kobrand Corporation
- James Tidwell, Master Sommelier and TEXSOM Co-Founder
“Somms Under Fire is one of the most relevant sommelier competitions in the country because it tests the most important skillsets of the sommelier: understanding wine and food to select appropriate pairings, and interacting with guests to both explain the wine and the pairings and to offer great hospitality at the same time. The competition displays what being a sommelier means,” says TEXSOM co-founder and Master Sommelier James Tidwell.
Tickets are now on sale and VIP tickets are $150, and General Admission tickets are $75 for the event. For additional information about 2018 Somms Under Fire and to purchase tickets, please visit the Keeper Collection website.