Keeper Collection Announces Winning Sommelier of Somms Under Fire™ 2013
Sommelier Scott Ota named as Winner of Somms Under Fire by Judges Peter Wasserman, Craig Collins, & June Rodil.
AUSTIN, Texas — Keeper Collection, LLC announces the winner of the Somms Under Fire Food & Wine Pairing Competition. The event took place on Sunday, January 27th at the Driskill Hotel. Scott Ota, of Driskill Hotel, was announced as Winner of Somms Under Fire for his outstanding performance in food & wine pairing, service, and education. The contestants were required to choose three “perfect” food and wine pairings before being sent to the Judges’ panel for explanation and critique. Scott’s winning pairings included the following:
First Course: NV Berlucchi Brut Frianciacorta with Hawaiian Ahi Crudo, Celery, Granny Smith
Apple, Jalapeno, Apple Gastrique, Blood Orange, and Micro Celery.
Second Course: 2009 Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso di Montalcino with Smoked Dakota Farms
American Buffalo, Lobster and Bacon Hash, Vanilla Scented Parsnips, Huckleberry Jam.
Third Course: 2010 Val de Mer Chablis with Granbury Vintage Eagle Mountain Cheese, Fiore
Sardo and Billy Blue Carr Valley Cheese.
In addition to the Title of Somms Under Fire Champion, Scott received a grand-prize package to travel to a Wine Internship in Burgundy, France under the tutelage of Master of Wine Jasper Morris provided by Selection Becky Wasserman, and a $1,000 stipend presented by Executive Director Marshall Jones of the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas.
The Sommelier Contestants were critiqued by a panel of Wine Industry Professional Judges, including Peter Wasserman (Global Wine Consultant, Selection Becky Wasserman), Craig Collins (Master Sommelier & South Central Regional Sales Manager of Dalla Terra), and June Rodil (Sommelier & General Manager of Qui Restaurant, 2011 Somms Under Fire Winner).
During the event, attendees were given the opportunity to tweet and text their vote for their favorite and most educational Sommelier. This vote named Bill Elsey as the Wines from Santorini Fan Favorite Sommelier, and he was presented a Laguiole Champagne Saber.
The Sommelier Contestants began the evening with the Mission Restaurant Supply Cocktail Quick Mix Challenge where each contestant was challenged to recreate a cocktail prepared by Craft Bartender of Congress Austin, Jason Stevens. The three spirits featured were Distillery No. 209 Gin (Surfer Rosa), Pierre Ferrand Cognac (Seven Bells), and Espolon Tequila (Lechuza). Bill Elsey won the challenge recreating the Seven Bells using the Pierre Ferrand Cognac.
Attendees to Sunday’s event also enjoyed tastings of the contestants’ food pairings prepared by Driskill Chef John Gelman, as well as featured event wines. Additional sponsors included, Antonelli’s Cheese, Coterie Market, Driskill Hotel, Becky Wasserman Selections, Serendipity Wines, Favorite Brands , Classified Wines & Spirits, Dalla Terra, Republic National Distributing Company, Pioneer Wine Company. Mission Restaurant Supply, Wines from Santorini, Spin Modern Thai Cuisine, Whole Foods, Elio Altare, Nicolas Rossignol, Domaine Serene, Val de Mer, Vecchia Modena, Berlucchi, Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery, Twin Liquors, and Peary Photography