The Texas Sommelier Conference
The Texas Sommelier Conference was first created in 2005 to address the growing need for continuing education for wine professionals, educators, and connoisseurs throughout the state. TEXSOM is now one of the definitive wine education programs in Texas.
The conference is a dynamic two-day event featuring educational seminars for both wine professionals and the general public. In addition to the seminars and lectures, a three-part competition (tasting, service and theory) is held for aspiring sommeliers to identify “Texas Best Sommelier”.
The conference was spearheaded by industry professionals and charitable leaders in the Texas wine community. Drew Hendricks MS, sommelier at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, James Tidwell, sommelier at Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, and Guy Stout MS, with Glazer’s Distributing created the conference as a means to provide quality education and unite the Texas wine community.
The mission of the Texas Sommelier Conference is to promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness with respect to the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers.
Since its inception in 2005, the conference has attracted more than 2,200 wine professionals from across the United States, and more than 160 Texas Sommeliers have competed for the coveted title, Texas’ Best Sommelier. The speakers and judges constitute a “who’s who” list of the nation’s top wine professionals: Master Sommeliers (MS), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), Masters of Wine (MW) and other highly respected wine educators. In addition, the conference has grown immensely since 2005; a few statistics are listed below:
- The 2011 conference featured the largest contingent of Master Sommeliers at a public event worldwide (more than 25). Four Master Sommeliers attended the first TEXSOM in 2005.
- The 2011 conference seminars and Grand Tasting consumer event were sold out with more than 400 attendees. Approximately 100 people attended in 2005.
- In the first year there was one Master Sommelier in Texas, and now there are seven: Guy Stout, Barbara Werley, Drew Hendricks, James Tidwell, Devon Broglie, Craig Collins and Melissa Monosoff.
TEXSOM is co-presented by The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and The Texas Sommelier Association. Each year the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas donates $25,000 for the Texas Sommelier Conference.
Description of Event
TEXSOM is a two-day conference held at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. Each day are five in-depth educational sessions that explore specific wine regions in detail, contemporary issues in wine and other items of interest to Texas wine professionals.
The competition portion of the conference takes place on the first day. It is limited to 25 Texas candidates who are evaluated by a panel of nationally recognized Master Sommeliers. The highest scoring candidate is named “Texas Best Sommelier” for the year and receives a scholarship to attend the Introductory Sommelier Course, Certified Sommelier Exam, or Advanced Sommelier Course of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
For more information about the Texas Sommelier Conference, please visit www.texsom.com.