Jeffery Young of Georgia James
Iron Sommelier winner Andres Blanco with Caracol Restaurant
Robert Spiegel, Katie Bobo
Food from the sommeliers' restaurant groups offer food pairings with the wines.
Julie Dalton with Mastro's Steakhouse is first runner-up
Christian Varas, David Keck, Sean Beck, Jason Mason, Steve McDonald
Lee & John Fackler
Frank Tsuru, Scott Hallam
Heather & Kevin Faske
Elyse & Lewis Kalmans
Truett & Elva Akin, Anne Eubank, Charles Brown
Paul Penland, Alyx Harawaya
Danielle & Chase Wolfe
Steve & Thao Lai, Katheryn Hung, Monica Ho
Michael & Megan Stoddard
Laine Kavanaugh, Lisa McCarthy
Evan Turner of Ouzo Bay
The Annie sommelier Bridget Elizabeth Paliwoda
What: The Periwinkle Foundation’s Iron Sommelier 2019 competition
Where: The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa
PC Moment: The competition was intense as 14 of the city’s leading sommeliers tested their expertise against one another. Making the matchup all the more interesting, the contestants were judged by a panel of Master Sommeliers — the highly respected Scott Tyree, MS of Acadia House Provisions, who jetted in from his home in Freeport, Maine; Drew Hendricks, MS – MPWS; and June Rodil, MS of Goodnight Hospitality The judging was based on wine choice, theme presentation, creativity and knowledge of their wine selections.
While the judges circled the room tasting and quizzing the sommeliers, the 650 guests made their own rounds tasting the wines and noshing on food pairings, created by the competitors’ restaurant groups.
Taking top honors with his “The Ancient Language of Wine” theme was Caracol‘s Andres Blanco, who also won top honors in the 2017 competition. First runner up was Julie Dalton of Mastro’s Steakhouse and second runner-up was Chris Poldoian of Camerata at Paulie’s. Winning for best underwriter tasting and best presentation were Evan Turner of Ouzo Bay and Poldoian.
Wine chair Sean Beck, sommelier and beverage director at Hugo’s and Backstreet Cafe, and sommelier chair John Clutterbuck reprised their roles from previous years, just as AUTOSOL joined the party once again as corporate sponsor of this the 12th annual Iron Sommelier competition benefiting Periwinkle. The event, which drew an impressive collection of chefs and foodies, raised more than $400,000 for Periwinkle’s Camps, Arts and Survivor programs for children, teens and their families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
PC Seen: Master sommeliers David Keck and Jack Mason, Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown, Anne Clutterbuck, Bobby Matos, Marilyn and Louis Mogas, Drs. Jayne and Carlos Rivera, Randa and K.C. Weiner, Nancy and Mike Syzdek, Julie Cannoy and Doug Osburn, and Marti and Jack Carr.