NewsTaste of Italy

AweSomm “best sommelier in Houston” competition, the first of its kind.

Click here to read the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of the first-ever “Best Sommelier in Houston” competition.

We are pleased to announce that 10 Houston-based wine professionals will be competing in the inaugural “Best Sommelier in Houston” competition, presented by AweSomm in association with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas and its 5th annual Taste of Italy Houston festival and trade show.

This year’s sponsors include wineries La Montina (Franciacorta, Lombardy), La Guardiense (Campania), Il Poggio Vini (Campania), and Bellaria (Campania).

Once they’ve completed the competition on Sunday, February 24, candidates will be treated to a reception and tasting hosted by the sponsoring estates. The winner and runners-up will be announced the following day at the Taste of Italy fair (Monday, February 25), the largest event devoted exclusively to Italian wine and food products in the U.S.

Competition details follow below. AweSomm is still accepting applications.

Click here to apply.

  • 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.

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