Taste of Italy™ 2019 features June Rodil MS, writers Bruce Schoenfeld and J.C. Reid, “Houston Sommelier Competition”

Taste of Italy™ 2019
February 24-25
Hilton Post Oak
Houston, Texas

Featuring the first-ever

November 13, 2018
Houston, Texas


Now in its fifth year, Taste of Italy — the largest trade and consumer festival in the U.S. devoted exclusively to Italian food and wine products — returns to Houston.

Events at this year’s gathering include:

  • consumer food seminars and tastings with top local chefs;
  • “Lambrusco and BBQ” tasting featuring top wines from Italy and leading Houston pitmasters, moderated by Houston Chronicle BBQ columnist J.C. Reid;
  • Italian wine tasting/seminar featuring Master Sommelier June Rodil and acclaimed wine writer Bruce Schoenfeld (Wine Spectator, New York Times, World of Fine Wine, Travel and Leisure, Saveur…);
  • Prosciutto di Parma Master Class;
  • trade and media GRAND TASTING of more than 300 Italian food products and wines, presented by the producers and winemakers.

And this year’s festival will also include the first-ever Taste of Italy/Awesomm “Houston Sommelier Competition”:

  • 20 Houston sommeliers will compete for the title of “Best Sommelier in Houston”;
  • candidates must currently be working in Houston and must be pre-Advanced level;
  • all competitors will be required to take a theory, service, and blind tasting exam;
  • 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.
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