Houston boasts a number of good wine bars, but the one that I put at the top of my list is Camerata. Its ever-changing list is replete with diverse bottles, the staff is welcoming and knowledgable, and it’s a comfortable place to meet friends and drink. If you have not been there, you’re missing out.
David Keck, who oversees the establishment, is one of the reasons Camerata is my go-to wine bar, and this week he was honored by Food & Wine magazine, which named him to its Sommelier of the Year list, a roster that also includes the sommeliers of The Union Square Hospitality Group and Christopher Bates, a Master Sommelier and chef at FLX Table in Geneva, New York.
Keck is more than just passionate about wine; he cuts through the snobbery and encourages you to drink what tastes good to you. If you are a novice drinker, he is more than willing to suggest a glass based on your palate, and if you are serious collector his acumen will help enrich your cellar. (My Eurocave contains a few of his picks.) In addition, he’s genuinely a nice guy, and the world certainly needs more of those.
Last year, I featured Keck in one of my first Wine Talk columns, and if you missed it then, I recommend reading it now — you’ll find it here. Then, make your way to Westheimer and order a glass or two. Tell David I sent you, and ask for a Riesling.