Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sommelier Showdown -- we have a winner!

Last night at Art of Entertaining/Uncorked, the wine store and catering company/cooking school, they held the second Sommelier Showdown (I missed the first one).
A team of chefs created a four-course, sit-down meal for dozens of wine lovers, and three sommeliers each picked a wine to pair with each of the courses. Attendees then ranked each course pairing according to how well the specific wines complemented the dishes.
After all the votes were tallied, the race was extremely tight and actually required a tie-breaker to select a winner. (More on that below.)

First, the players:
Master of Ceremonies & very knowledgeable & personable Master Sommelier Matthew Citriglia
Advanced Sommelier (and director of sales for Wine Trends) Mary Horn
Certified Sommelier and co-owner of La Poste restaurant, Bryant Phillips
Certified Sommelier of Orchids at Palm Court Charles Redmond

The courses with their wines: (all French wines for course #1)
COURSE ONE: Mixed greens, granny smith apple, manchego cheese, radish & pomegranate vinaigrette
MH: Domaine Salvard Cheverny Blanc (my fave this course)
BP: Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Rose
CR: Guenard Chignin vin de Savoie

COURSE TWO: Smoked trout, fingerling potato, chili-lemon reduction served with warm frisee (my favorite dish)
MH: Matchbook Chardonnay, Dunnigan Hills CA
BP: Hermann Moser "Gebling" Riesling - Austria (my fave this course)
CR: Von Schleinitz Trocken Riesling "Apollo" -- Mosel, Germany

COURSE THREE: Scallop with cauliflower puree, curry vinaigrette, golden raisins and pine nuts
MH: Yealands pinot noir, NZ (my fave this course)
BP: Domaine des Aubuisieres "les Girardier" Vouvray demi-sec
CR: Abbazia di Novacella Kerner, Alto Adige, IT

COURSE FOUR: Ginger and pineapple crepes with lemon caramel
MH: Godon Brothers Late Harvest Gewurz, Columbia Valley
BP: Elio Perrone Sourgal Moscato D'Asti, Piedmont, IT (the big winner for the dessert course)
CR: Grand Maison Monbazillac, France

And -- drum roll -- the winner ended up being Mary Horn, who successfully defended her title from the first sommelier showdown last fall. Get on the Art of Entertaining mailing list if you want to be invited to the next one. We enjoyed the heck out of it!

Top one shows Mary, Charles, Bryant and Matthew
Middle shot is of the smoked trout course
Bottom is the crepe dessert

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