Two Houston restaurants win Wine Spectator Grand Award (only 8 awards worldwide)

Houston brought home two of the coveted Wine Spectator Grand Awards this year (2019). That accounts for 25 percent of the eight awards given worldwide!

Not too shabby!

Congrats to Mastro’s and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse!

See the story here on WineSpectator.com.

Image via the Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Facebook.

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Updates from Houston Sommelier Association

To join the Houston Sommelier Association mailing list, please send Cat an email at info@houstonsommeliers.com.

UPCOMING non-HSA …

June 6, 2019
Sake Educational Session with John Gautner
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Sake Seminar
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Tasting
Venue: The Texas Wine School 2301 Portsmouth St.
Houston, TX 77098
REGISTER HERECost: Free https://www.jetro.go.jp/for m5/pub/hut/sakehouston
*All attendees must be 21 years of age or older to try alcohol.

June 19, 2019
WEBINAR: Rendez-Vous avec les vins de BOURGOGNE: The first step to the notion of terroir (11:00AM)
In collaboration with the BIVB and the Texas Wine School, this new broadcast will be dedicated to the geographical denominations added to the red Régionale AOCs Bourgogne and Mâcon

Updates from Houston Sommelier Assocation

To join the Houston Sommelier Association mailing list, please send Cat an email at info@houstonsommeliers.com.

This week at HSA…

There is no one word that can describe Australian wines, so Mark Davidson chose three: “History, Evolution, Revolution”. This is the title of his masterclass that he gives all over the globe focusing on the history of Australian winemaking, the evolution of classic wine styles and the emergence of alternative varieties and styles through the wine.

Born in London, raised in Sydney Mark has over 30 years of experience in the hotel restaurant and wine business, fifteen of those as a Sommelier. 2001 he was named Sommelier of the Year at the Vancouver Wine Festival and also won the Spirited Industry Professional in 2014. As a Department Head and instructor with the International Sommelier Guild he was instrumental in the ongoing development of the curriculum and has taught classes all over North America.

Join us this Wednesday as we welcome Mark Davidson to HSA!

See y’all Wednesday at The Art of Cellaring/Texas Wine School located at 2301 Portsmouth St. Street parking is available as well as in the lot across the street. Please plan to be on time as the doors here will lock at 10:30AM to reduce interruption and distraction out of respect for our speakers. Remember, EARLY IS ON TIME!! Professional attire is encouraged… please.

Also… please keep in mind that we are all doing this on a volunteer basis (no one is being paid for this) Please stick around to help clean up… Polishing glasses and resetting the space. It takes a village.. 😄

UPCOMING HSA …

May 22, 2019
Exploring Aglianico with Craig Collins, MS

June 5, 2019
SPAIN: East vs. West with Albert Costa from Vall Llach and Isabel Salgado from Fillaboa

UPCOMING non-HSA …

June 19, 2019
WEBINAR: Rendez-Vous avec les vins de BOURGOGNE: The first step to the notion of terroir (11:00AM)
In collaboration with the BIVB and the Texas Wine School, this new broadcast will be dedicated to the geographical denominations added to the red Régionale AOCs Bourgogne and Mâcon

Updates from Houston Sommelier Association

To join the Houston Sommelier Association mailing list, please send Cat an email at info@houstonsommeliers.com.

THIS WEEK @ HSA…

Hey y’all!

Super exciting stuff this week. Matt Dees will be taking us on the journey of the winemaker. This will be a really in-depth look at the relationship of winemaking and the vineyard. Matt’s idea is to show how winemaking can make “wines of style” “wines of the estate” and also show “site specific wines from single vineyards.”
A self proclaimed plant geek, and he’s psyched to do this tasting and show how winemaking and vineyard specificity and stylistically can be bottled.
Matt Dees is what you’d call a natural winemaker.

Armed with a degree in Soil Science from the University of Vermont and Vintages at Staglin in Napa, California and Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, Matt has an intrinsic feel for wine, from dirt to glass. curious, earthy and experimental by nature, Matt’s approach to winemaking is grounded in the vineyard (pun intentional) first and foremost: attuned to the vines, the weather, the soil, Matt seems almost to be a part of the vineyard itself.

Not being bound by the conventions of the enological world of academia (no degree in winemaking here) has allowed Matt to come to an untethered philosophy of wine.

See y’all Wednesday at The Art of Cellaring located at 2301 Portsmouth St. Street parking is available as well as in the lot across the street. Please plan to be on time as the doors here will lock at 10:30AM to reduce interruption and distraction out of respect for our speakers. Remember, EARLY IS ON TIME!! Professional attire is encouraged… please.

Also… please keep in mind that we are all doing this on a volunteer basis (no one is being paid for this) Please stick around to help clean up… Polishing glasses and resetting the space. It takes a village.. 😄

UPCOMING HSA …

MARCH 27, 2019
Bizaiko Txakolina DO with Bingden Mendizabel of Bodegas Itsasmendi

APRIL 10, 2019
Texas Two Sip: Blind Tasting Texas vs. the World

APRIL 24, 2019
WOSA Master Class with Jim Clarke ** start time will be 10:00AM

UPCOMING NON – HSA …

APRIL 24, 2019
WOSA Master Class/Competition ** start time will be 10:00AM
Jim Clarke leads a masterclass on South Africa followed by an optional one-hour quiz. This would be part of round one for the triennial Sommelier Cup. The top five scorers around the country will get flown to NY for the semifinals, the national winner going on to South Africa in September.

Awesomm and Taste of Italy “Best Sommelier in Houston” competition applications now open

Disclosure: Jeremy Parzen, manager and owner of Houston Wine Almanac, is a media consultant for the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce.

On February 24-25, AweSomm will be hosting the first-ever “Best Sommelier in Houston” competition in association with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas and its 5th annual Taste of Italy Houston festival and trade show.

To apply, please use the form below.

  • 20 Houston-based sommeliers will be invited to compete for the title of “Best Sommelier in Houston.”
  • Candidates must currently be working in Houston and must be “pre-Advanced” (in their Court of Master Sommeliers candidacy).
  • All competitors will be required to take a theory, service, and blind tasting exam.
  • Once the theory exam is completed, the 10 candidates with the top scores will be seated for the service and blind tasting exams.
  • Testing will take place at the Hilton Post Oak on Sunday, February 24. The winner and 2 runners up will be announced at the Taste of Italy festival Monday, February 25.
  • Master Sommelier Guy Stout (Southern-Glazers), Advanced Sommelier Brandon Kerne (Pappas Bros.), Advanced Sommelier James Watkins (Paul Hobbs Winery), and Cat Nguyen (Houston Sommelier Association founder) will serve as judges.
  • The winner will receive a $1,200 scholarship to apply to future studies; 2 runners up will receive $300 scholarships; all 10 finalists will be eligible for Italy-America Chamber sponsored trips to Italian wine country.

Steven McDonald, whose MS title was “invalidated” by Court in cheating scandal, regains pin

Beloved Houston sommelier Steven McDonald became a Master Sommelier for the second time last week.

That’s Steven (above), wine director for one of the city’s leading steakhouses, with his wife Adria in St. Louis where he retook the tasting exam after being stripped of his title in the wake of a cheating scandal (photo via Steven’s Facebook).

Steven wasn’t involved with the malfeasance in any way. But he was one of 23 erstwhile Master Sommeliers whose newly earned titles were “invalidated” by the Court of Master Sommeliers more than a month after the group’s coveted pins had been conferred.

Houston Chronicle wine writer Dale Robertson reported the story here.

And for more background, information on steps the Court has taken to rectify the situation, and updates on some of the candidates who didn’t pass the “reset” (as its called), see this excellent reporting by Seven Fifty Daily contributor Courtney Schiessl.