Keeper Collection #SommChat Guest James Tidwell @TEXSOMIWA

3/28 Master Sommelier James Tidwell, TEXSOM and TexIWA


KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Welcome to a very special #SommChat everyone! Tell your friends to join us to celebrate 7 years and to learn about #wine from #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell about @texsomiwa !

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: We're about ready to dive in w/questions, so shout out to #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell @texsomiwa to say hello & so he knows you're here! #WineWednesday #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Don't forget that EVERY tweet during this chat should include the #SommChat hashtag in order for everyone to see it!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: As we ask James Tidwell @texsomiwa our Qs, you can ask your Qs as well! He'll do his best to answer all Qs in the order they come #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: W so many participants lots of gr8 Q's R asked! Even if u dont ask 1--give a S/O 2 @KeeperColl & @texsomiwa 2 let us know u R here! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Let's start talking #wine with #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell tweeting on @texsomiwa ! #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Thx @keepercoll and congrats on 7 years of #SommChat! Great to be with you on this special occasion.

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa Why would it be advantageous for a #winery to enter their #wine in the TEXSOM IWA competition? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Access to: 1) Quality judges (abt 1/3 MS, 1/3 MW, and 1/3 other experienced wine pros) 2) 40 Somms at #TEXSOM #SommRetreat 3) Selective (ie valuable) medals #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Access to: 1) Quality judges (abt 1/3 MS, 1/3 MW, and 1/3 other experienced wine pros) 2) 40 Somms at #TEXSOM #SommRetreat 3) Selective (ie valuable) medals #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm How does a #Sommelier get considered to attend the Retreat and can you describe what they attend and what they do @texsomiwa ?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 #SommChat Invites this year went to 1) those attending in past 2) competitors in @TEXSOM Best Somm Comp 3) finalists #SommsUF

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 #SommChat Working towards app process but we want to ensure logistics are where we want first. Learn service, tasting, and theory but in a general sense not spec for exams

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 3 Goal as with all @TEXSOM training/ed is to raise the bar on hospitality and wine industry, not just pass exams. So we emphasize becoming better somms at #SommRetreat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa How is #TEXSOMIWA different from other #wine competitions? #SommChat

Charles Comm PR @CharlesComm: Big Congrats on 7 years of #SommChat !! @keepercoll

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Thanks @CharlesComm and most of all thanks for your continued support over the last 7 years for #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa How do you select your panel of judges for #TEXSOMIWA? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 Wine industry network large so many great choices. Tend to people we know bc panels require balance of comp experience, spec/gen knowledge,… #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 …personality, etc. Judging panels are one of the most fun, challenging, and political puzzles to solve:) #SommChat

Charles Comm PR @CharlesComm: Q @texsomiwa Which #wine #regions do you think deserve more recognition and what regions has TIWA been able to build awareness for? #SommChat @keepercoll

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Example of awareness w/ English sparkling as @RidgeviewWineUK got distro in US w/ @BanvilleJones partly due to medals #texsomiwa. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa and then @RidgeviewWineUK was able to request consideration as a #SommsUF competition #wine by @BanvilleWine and they got selected - another #TEXSOMIWA advantage:) #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 Regions: Gr8 thing abt #texsomiwa is unlike wine list or retail buyer, the wines entered are not based on our likes but on what shows up. #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 So a diff way of looking at trends. S Oregon showed up big this year. South Africa won 6 Judges’ Selection Awards. Huge! @WOSA_USA #SommChat

Charles Comm PR @CharlesComm: @texsomiwa Did anything surprise you at this years #TEXSOM International Wine Awards? #SommChat @keepercoll

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 Best surprises are wines entered as this is gr8 honor for #texsomiwa. Once said that if Emerich Knoll ever entered, then I would consider comp a success,… #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 …3 days later, TX distributor knocked on door with the wines. Entered and won medals. We appreciate all entries, and having wines not usually entered in comps is extra validation of value to wineries and consumers. #SommChat

James Cerda @jcerda82: Happy to be part of the conversation. Thank you @keepercollection for organizing this #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Welcome @jcerda82 to #SommChat today - look forward to your questions for Master #Sommelier James Tidwell @texsomiwa - we enjoy your #instagram feed

James Cerda @jcerda82: first tweetchat so trying to get my footing and follow along. Hopefully I can get one or two good questions out #sommchat

James Cerda @jcerda82: You can search in twitter search for #SommChat and it will narrow it down to help you follow:)

James Cerda @jcerda82: I'm following along on I think I got it now

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @texsomiwa how many #Sommeliers do you select for #SommRetreat & is there a process for someone to send you their information for consideration?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Right now, invite only based on past part, @TEXSOM best somm comp part, or #SommsUF finalist. But, send not to to get on email list. Working towards app process. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa has been called" the most preeminent #wine competition in #US” What do you think makes #TEXSOMIWA it get this recognition? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: All the people who make the comp what it is…the volunteers, wineries, judges, sommeliers, pr/mkting firms, distributors, importers, media,….It’s the concerted effort of so many. Grateful for all who participate in any way! Much like @TEXSOM conf #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Congrats James @texsomiwa on 7 years! Last week at my #Prowein meetings, a few producers proudly mentioned the awards they received from #texsomiwa #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Thanks! Super excited to hear that. We saw a number of medals too! Sorry we missed you there. Also, nice to travel to wineries and see medals (and Judges’ Selection certs) proudly displayed. Glad it means so much and is valuable. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Great to see you back on #SommChat today @Path2Wine and thanks for your continued support over the last 7 years

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa Can you share the basis for the judging of the #wine during the #TexSomIWA competition? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Wines categorized by 1) Gen Type (red, white, rose, spark, fort) 2) Country/State 3) Appellation 4) specific type. But like to have context so if few entries from spec place then group like together. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm (non-restaurant) @texsomiwa how many #wines do you usually have for entry and how do you manage it so none are lost or damaged? What R requirements 4 #wine entry?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Entry req is 4 btls per and we had 3,278 entries this year. Systems, processes, and training! We have climate control warehouse and lots of help! Dev a new proprietary mgtmt system this year as well. #SommChat

Harley Carbery @harleywine1: Good morning from Vegas! James, how are you? congrats on the 7yr anniversary #sommchat @keepercoll @texsomiwa

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Hi @harleywine1 ! Great! Hope you are well. Coming to @TEXSOM conf this year? Hope to see you. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Thanks @harleywine1 for celebrating #SommChat 7 year anniversary today. How are you and always great to see you here

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm what is % of #US vs International #wines entered for @texsomiwa #Wine Competition? Are they any regions you would like to see increase?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: About 1/2 US & 1/2 rest of world. Had Tunisian and Bulgarian wine for 1st time this year. Love wines from all areas and want a microcosm of entire wine world represented. Plenty of room to grown. Lrgst comp in world is 16,000 entries! That’s a good goal:) #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa How can consumers find out who won the #TexSOMIWA awards? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: n @TexasMonthly website as a list or searchable at Encourage people to explore. Lots of cool wines there. #SommChat

James Cerda @jcerda82: When is the @texsomm conference? And how does one attend? #sommchat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Dates not announced yet for @TEXSOM conf. Get on email list at We send email, post to social media, etc w/save the date and before reg opens. Then, just register! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm when do you notify of open dates for @texsomiwa entry of #wines and can a #winery enter more than one #wine? Is there a limit to # U can enter?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Open entry submissions in early Oct w/online entry. No limit on entries. Lrgst entrant last yr was @BroadbentWines and this year EJ Gallo. Coincidentally, both were lrgst medal winners in those yrs. and shows diversity in #texsomiwa #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm do you have any events other than the competition where ppl can taste @texsomiwa award winning wines and if so when and where?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Events around country so get on email list Big one is w/ @FPWM in SF during Sept. Check their website as well. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm do you have any certificates or things a retailer could post of @texsomiwa award winning #wines and if so how would they get them?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Medals mailed to entrants along w/Judges Selection (special award) certs. Offer btl stickers to wineries. Send note to for list of winners or see to create shelf talkers etc. Working on offering those. Always open to ideas! #SommChat TEXSOM International Wine

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm what are the biggest changes you have made since taking over @texsomiwa and any new things planned for future?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 Many changes inc method of categorizing wines, new processes and systems, diff judges, more vols, but most innovative is prob #SommRetreat. No other comp has this. Extra exposure for wineries. Added expense for comp but def worth it. #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 New things planned? Yes! Always! But, not talking about those yet ;) Stay tuned. #texsomiwa @SommChat

James Cerda @jcerda82: How do I go about entering? I want to start entering competitions more b/c I have been honing my craft. Not sure how to get involved

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: @jcerda82 DM me your email and out you on our email list - also we post on our social media accounts @keepercoll so follow and you should be good to go:)

James Cerda @jcerda82: I just sent an email. Thank you for the info. I look forward to attending #texsom #sommchat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Great! See you there! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm have you ever rejected a #wine entry into @texsomiwa and if so why?

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Stringent authenticity reqs. Wines must be btled for commercial sale: no barrel samples, home winemaking, etc. Trained team verifies every pc of info on bottle against entry record at least 8 sep times from receiving to judging. Have rejected wines based on these reqs. #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Thanks James @texsomiwa for creating a fantastic website that’s easy to search on wineries that received awards. Wonderful resource for all in the industry. #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Glad you like it! Worked hard on search and accessibility. Looks simple, but lots of info to distill there. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: @texsomiwa are you able to see trends in the #wine industry with the competition #wines entered and winning and any trends you would share? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 1 For sure! Was looking at trends this yr & over time w/ regions & wineries. @vassefelix nom for 4 Judges Selection Awards this year and won 2. That’s remarkable. S Africa won Judges Selection for best Syrah and Value Syrah w/ 2 diff wines. So, watch for SA Syrah! #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 2 @TwoVintners won 2 Judges Selection Awards last yr: best WA red and overall Syrah. Then, won Judges Selection again this yr for WA red. Out of 3,278 entries to have that consistency of quality over time is exceptional. #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Pt 3 Also see cool things like @RiberaRuedaWine Verdejo Dorado (only a couple of producers of that wine and never seen) being entered and awarded. Orange wine (@zoinoswinery Respekt one ex) in comp as well and winning medals. Got inquiries of entries for keg wines. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm @texsomiwa How is #TEXSOMIWA different from other #wine competitions? #SommChat

James Tidwell @texsomiwa: Hope what sets #texsomiwa apart is authenticity, rigor, quality, standards, value, impact, community based on the work of too many ppl to name! #SommRetreat and qual of vols and judges def a differentiating factor. #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Thanks James for taking the time to share more behind @texsomiwa Congrats @keepercoll on 7 years! A proper toast to you is long overdue. #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Thanks @Path2Wine without all of our #wine friends like you #SommChat would not exist - appreciate the toast!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Time to wrap up! Hope you enjoyed this hour of #wine talk w/ #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell fr @texsomiwa ! #SommChat

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: It was great to have #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell fr @texsomiwa join us today for a very special #SommChat. We hope everyone learned as much as we did!

KeeperCollection @KeeperColl: Please join us in thanking #Master #Sommelier James Tidwell and @texsomiwa for helping us celebrate #SommChat 7 year anniversary! #SommChat