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If you’re a Wine and Food lover, you know that the Perfect Pairing can truly make or break a meal. No matter which comes first, the food or the libation, knowing the Basics of Pairing is a critical component of getting the most out of a culinary experience.

2017 SUF Sponsors
2017 SUF Prizes

2017 Somms Under Fire VIP Tasting

Austrian Wine

Want to learn about Austrian Wine? Austrian Wine USA will host our VIP wine tasting and Education on Austrian Wines presented by Justin Timsit! Click the Austrian Wines USA Logo to learn more...

2017 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge


The 2017 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge will feature Pisco Portón Mosto Verde. Pisco Portón Mosto Verde is a super premium pisco handcrafted at the oldest distillery in the Americas, Hacienda La Caravedo, established in 1684 in Ica, Peru. It is a full-bodied, luxurious acholado, or blend, of estate-grown grapes, carefully crafted in the mosto verde style by Master Distiller Johnny Schuler and recognized as the finest type of pisco. Pisco Portón Mosto Verde is the most awarded pisco in the world with over 150 international spirits awards and is the #1 exported pisco from Peru.

This year, Somms Under Fire contestants will be challenged to create a Craft Cocktail Recipe using Pisco Portón Mosto Verde. They will be required to present a personal narrative with their selected ingredients, garnish, style, and presentation of Pisco Porton Mosto Verde Cocktail.

Craft Bartender and Director of Bars and Beverage at La Corsha Hospitality Group, Cocktail Judge Jason Stevens will judge the contestants on their Pisco Porton Mosto Verde Cocktail creations. The winner of the Cocktail Challenge will get a competitive advantage in the main Somms Under Fire competition.

2017 Somms Under Fire Featured Restaurant: Hudson's on the Bend

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Hudson’s on the Bend, the longtime Hill Country restaurant, was acquired by Chef Billy Caruso and Advanced Sommelier Chris McFall in 2016. Caruso was the executive chef of III Forks in Chicago and also used to be a partner in 24 Diner and Easy Tiger. McFall worked at III Forks in Chicago, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston, as well as Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in Austin. The two also both worked at Paggi House. Using their experience in the restaurant industry, the duo has managed to preserve Hudson’s illustrious reputation while implementing a modern flair.

2017 Somms Under Fire Finalists

Eric Crane

Eric S. Crane, a Georgia native, is the Director of Training and Business Development for Empire Distributors, Inc. He has achieved the title of Certified Wine Educator from the Society of Wine Educators and the title of Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers. As Empire’s Director of Training, he regularly teaches classes on wine and spirits to his company...

Advanced SommelierHai Tran

With a background in science from Duke University, the wine industry was not the immediately obvious career path for Hai. A first generation Vietnamese-American, wine had virtually no presence during his upbringing in Orlando, FL. It was during his time working in the restaurant industry that helped ignite his passion in the world of wine and heed a new calling. Hai has served as Sommelier of the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond Herons...

Jill Zimorski

University of Virginia graduate and Advanced Sommelier Jill Zimorski has been in the restaurant and wine business for more than a decade. She has worked at many restaurants such as Palette at the Madison Hotel in Washington D.C., Charlie Palmer Steak, Café Atlantico, Zaytinya,...


2017 Somms Under Fire Alternates

2017 Somms Under Fire Judges

Patrick Baudouin

The original domaine was founded by Patrick Baudouin's grandparents, Maria Juby and Louis Juby. They inherited vineyards on the Bruandières hills in St Aubin de Luigné in the beginning of the 20th century and then in 1920 they bought La Cour d’Ardenay, in Chaudefonds sur Layon, and built their winery there.

After a stay in Paris and other professional activities, Patrick Baudouin came back to Anjou in 1990 to start a new winery on the...

Jay James

An alumnus of Georgia Tech, Jay grew up in Atlanta, Georgia dreaming about playing guitar in a rock band (which he did), flying jets (which he did not) and got into the wine business by accident - just like everyone else.

In 1989, while teaching guitar and working as a part-time employee of the 400-seat Ray’s on the River in North...

Peter Wasserman

Peter Wasserman is the son of Becky Wasserman and Co. founder Becky Wasserman as well as global consultant for the company. Growing up with a wine exporter as his mother he was destined to become a consultant for the company.

Peter has been Burgundian since the age of three growing up in a wine and food obsessed family. Guests included some of the most famous ‘vignerons’ and extraordinary chefs. From the age of six he often interpreted...


2017 Somms Under Fire Cocktail Challenge Judge

Jason Stevens

Stevens is a Craft Bartender who has worked in the bar, management, and service industry for over 15 years. He is the current Director of Bars and Beverage at La Corsha Hospitality. He also presides over the drinks at Bar Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and its second location in The Domain, as well as the newly opened Boiler Nine Bar + Grill in Seaholm. Jason is also the co-owner of Bad Dog Bar Craft, a commercial bitters company.


2017 Somms Under Fire Emcees

Devon Broglie

Devon Broglie became a Master Sommelier in 2011. He has spent tens of thousands of hours studying, tasting, and selling wine. Broglie is intimately familiar with the wine regions of the world, the grapes that they grow, and the laws that govern them, as well as what factors influence the look, smell, taste, and ultimately the value of a wine. As he puts it: Being a Master Sommelier doesn’t define who I am as a person or a professional but I hope it validates the passion and dedication I have for assessing and selecting incredible wines to offer our customers.

His interest in...

June Rodil

June Rodil, a Manila native and University of Texas graduate, was an exceptional student and has worked with several of Austin’s finest restaurant groups, including La Corsha (Congress), Qui and Uchi.

In 2015, on her third attempt to earn the accreditation, Rodil became one of only seven sommeliers in to earn her master sommelier pin. She was just the third woman in Texas to earn the master ranking and one of fewer than two dozen in North America. While she acknowledges that it’s special to be among the group, Rodil doesn’t view the achievement through a gender-specific lens. “I...

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