Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
4150 North MacArthur Boulevard, Irving, Texas, U.S.A. 75038
Dallas, U.S.A. – August 18, 2011
TEXSOM Names Bill Elsey as Best Sommelier in Texas at 7th Annual Event Hosted by
Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas. Record attendance and hip crowd attracted by social media focus, deep sommelier talent and great wines.
You won’t find the newly anointed Texas’ Best Sommelier 2011, Bill Elsey, working the floor of a restaurant. Rather, he makes his living selling Duchman Family Wines to restaurants and wine shops. His victory marks a growing trend in the wine industry: a sommelier is not necessarily a wine steward, but rather a well-educated, well-rounded wine professional.
Elsey outperformed twenty other competitors in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting and theory. An elite panel of Master Sommelier judges named him Texas’ Best Sommelier 2011 at a ceremony on Monday, August 15 2011 in the Grand Ballroom of
Upon receiving the commemorative TV Munson Six-Liter Trophy, Elsey expressed gratitude to the event’s organisers and his employers. “This competition is an amazing opportunity,” Elsey said. “I want to thank the TEXSOM team, all the sommeliers here and, of course, Drs. Stan and Lisa Duchman.”
Presented by the not-for-profit organisations the Texas Sommelier Association and the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, TEXSOM is the only event of its kind in the United States. Since its inception in 2005, it has attracted more than 2,200 wine professionals from across the United States, and more than 160 Texas sommeliers have competed. The speakers and judges constitute a Who’s Who list of the nation’s top wine professionals: Master Sommeliers (MS), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), one Master of Wine (MW) and other respected wine educators.
In addition to laying claim to the title of “Texas’ Best Sommelier,” Elsey received a scholarship of USD 2500.00 from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. Nathan Prater from Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods secured the first runner up spot and a USD 1500.00 scholarship, and David Keck from the Prestige Division of Glazer’s Distributing was recognised as second runner up and given a USD 1000.00 scholarship.
Students travelled from as far away as New York and California to attend the classes, according to Master Sommelier James Tidwell, one of TEXSOM’s founders. “Every year, the conference reflects greater diversity. This year we featured an amazing vertical tasting with celebrated winemaker Serge Hochar, who travelled all the way from Lebanon and shared wines dating back to 1969,” Tidwell says. “We created this event to serve our local community and in doing so, we inadvertently attracted top talent from across the world because TEXSOM is unique. No other conference integrates all levels of the business and welcomes the public like this one does.”
At the awards ceremony, Tidwell and his conference co-founder Drew Hendricks shared some interesting statistics comparing this year’s conference to the first one, held in 2005:
- Four Master Sommeliers attended the first TEXSOM, and this year’s conference featured the largest contingent of Master Sommeliers at a public event worldwide (more than 25).
- Approximately 100 people attended the first year. This year’s seminars and Grand Tasting were sold out with more than 400 attendees.
- In the first year, there was one Master Sommelier in Texas, and now there are six: Guy Stout, Barbara Werley, Drew Hendricks, James Tidwell, Devon Broglie and Craig Collins.
The TEXSOM Conference Background
TEXSOM and the Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition were founded by James Tidwell MS, CWE, Sommelier at
The event is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors, with scholarships provided by the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation. Sponsors include: (Platinum-level)
The Texas Sommelier Association is a trade association comprised of Texas wine professionals. The Association promotes professional wine service standards, outlines paths for further wine education and certification, and raised public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. The organisation sponsors the "Texas' Best Sommelier" competition, with the winner being awarded scholarships for professional certification courses. This competition is held during the TEXSOM conference.
Wine & Food Foundation of Texas
The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas was established to connect its members and the general public with the value, creativity and craftsmanship inherently present in the culinary and viticulture arts. This mission is fulfilled by funding grants, scholarships and research aimed at elevating the quality, awareness and enjoyment of good food and fine wine as well as hosting education and social events that enhance the quality of life for members and communities. These programs offer unique opportunities to enrich the minds and palates of guests, who in turn can relate their experience with friends sharing common interests.
Hotel Press Contact
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4150 North MacArthur Boulevard
Irving, Texas, U.S.A. 75038
Email Angela Enright
T. 1 (972) 717-2441
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