One of my favorite annual events is Keeper Collection’s Somms Under Fire wine and food pairing competition, in which acclaimed sommeliers first create a craft cocktail using Citadell Gin de France, then move on to the main event. The fun is in full swing as the audience tastes the wines that the somms have available as choices to pair with a multi-course meal. Every time I’ve attended this competition, the table discussion is lively, with everyone opining as to which wine should be chosen. Not only is it entertaining, it’s educational, as I’ve picked up key information that helps me choose wine to pair with the foods I cook at home.
#SommsUF goes through rounds for each course, awarding the best pairing each time, and ultimately crowns an overall sommelier winner. Top prize? An ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime internship in Burgundy, France with travel money, and a oh-so-very cool champagne saber. Because saber. Who doesn’t dig using a sharp calvary sword to open a bottle of bubbly? There’s also the Fan Favorite winner, with a sweet wine education trip to Washington state, and an internship at the 2018 TexSom conference.
Buy your tickets now, because it always sells out! VIP ticket holders enjoy early check-in, a wine education and tasting program in addition to the cocktail challenge and main competition. Tables are also available, to ensure your party is seated together. This year you may, in advance, request a vegetarian dish in lieu of the competition dish — do so in the notes field of the ticket form.