The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas was excited to partner with Keeper Collection again this year on the 2014 Somms Under Fire competition. The event took place on Sunday, January 26th at the A T & T Executive Education & Conference Center. Nathan T. Prater, of The Red Room Lounge Austin was announced as 2014 Winner of Somms Under Fire for his outstanding performance in wine & food pairing, service, and education. The contestants were required to choose three “perfect” wine and food pairings before being sent to the Judges’ panel for explanation and critique. Nathan’s winning pairings included the following:
- First Course: 2011 Copain Laureles Grande Chardonnay with Celery Root Soup, buttermilk, Texas grapefruit, chive by Chef Jeffrey Rhodes of Parkside Austin
- Second Course: 2009 Paolo Scavino Barolo Monvigliero with Windy Bar Beef Shank foraged mushrooms, benne seed, Brussels sprouts by Chef Jeffrey Rhodes of Parkside Austin
- Third Course: 2012 Pedernales Cellars Texas Viognier with Pawlet, Essex Manchego, & Blu di Bufala from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
The other Sommelier Contestants included Advanced Sommelier Paula de Pano, Fearrington House Restaurant, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Certified Sommelier James Watkins, Beverage Director, Cordua Restaurants, Houston, Texas. Devon Broglie, MS of Whole Foods Market facilitated the event as the Emcee.
In addition to the Title of 2014 Somms Under Fire Champion, Nathan T. Prater 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 Peter Wasserman of Becky Wasserman & Co., and a $1,000 educational travel grant presented by the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas.
The Sommelier Contestants were critiqued by a panel of Wine Industry Professional Judges, including Wells Guthrie, Winemaker and Founder of Copain Wines, Jordan Mackay, Award Winning Author & Wine Writer, Elisa Scavino, Piedmont Winemaker, Paolo Scavino Wines and Burgundy Wine Specialist Peter Wasserman of Becky Wasserman & Co.
During the event, attendees were given the opportunity to text their vote for their favorite and most educational Sommelier. This vote named Nathan T. Prater as Fan Favorite Sommelier, and he was presented a Laguiole Champagne Saber.
The Magnum of Excellence Award is given to the Finalist that scored the highest score on the theory-based entry exam. The 2014 Magnum of Excellence was a 2008 Paolo Scavino Barolo Monvigliero and was awarded to Nathan Prater.
The Sommelier Contestants began the evening with the Sake One Saktail™ Quick Mix Challenge where each contestant was challenged to prepare a cocktail using Sake One Sake Moto. Nathan T. Prater won the challenge creating his Saktail, called Mizu, made of SakéMoto, Orange, Lemon, Lavender, and Rice Wine Vinegar.
For more information on Somms Under Fire visit www.SommsUnderFire.com.