Somm Slam And A Seminar

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The 9th Annual International Chefs Congress, a culinary symposium, took place on October 26-28. The event was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center on 79 Franklin Street in Williamsburg.

This years Somm Slam consisted of ten competitors. The Sunday I attended was the first day of the completion and the Somm’s were divided into two groups of five. Each group was given a dish prepared by Chef Josh Thomsen of Agricola restaurant in Princeton NJ . The Somm’s had to pick a wine (or beer) from what was available that they felt was the best pairing with the dish. We judges critiqued their choices. I attended a seminar as well.

First group: Horseradish-crusted Ora King Salmon, Sorrel Puree and Glazed Great Road Farm Beets.

My picks based on the Somm’s choices:

#1 Ommegang “Gnomegang” (New York). Chosen by Kyumgmoon Kim, Junskik, NY. Hate to pick a beer over wine but I thought it complemented the dish the best.

#2 2013 Chateau Guiot Rosé (Costier de Nimes). Chosen by John Filkins, Potomac Selections, Pa.

Second Group: New York Duck, Toasted Farro, Baby Escarole and Carmalized Red Onion-Blackberry Sauce.

My picks based on the Somm’s choices:

#1 2011 Chateau Beauchene Cotes du Rhone (Rhone). Chosen by Diana Roderique, Trummer’s On Main, Clifton, VA.

#2 2006 Luis Canas Reserva (Rioja). Chosen by Jose Aguirre, Klimpon Hotels, San Francisco.

Five Somm’s were eliminated this day and the remaining five participated Monday afternoon. The winners were: 1st place Erik Liedholm, 2nd place Jose Aguirre, 3rd place Michael Dolnski, 4th place Kyungmoon Kim and 5th place Diana Roderique.


Seminar: The New And Alternative Side Of California Wine

2013 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris (Russian River Valley). Gold with green tints, floral nose, tight and crisp with floral notes on the fruit.

2013 Habit Wine Co. Grüner Veltliner “Rancho Arroyo Perdito” (Santa Ynez Valley). Yellow with greenish tints with a nose of turned earth an a nice mouth feel with  balanced finish.

2012 Matthiasson Winery White (Napa Valley). A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Semillon and Tocai Fruilano. Light gold in color with a closed nose of sweet earth, silky and balance with mouth filling fruit and some lime notes and good acidity on the nicely balance finish.

2012 Sandlands Vineyard Trousseau (Sonoma County). Cloudy medium red with a big stinky nose of vanilla and cinnamon, chewy and rustic.

2013 RPM Gamay (El Dorato). Carbonic maceration, cloudy dark brick in color with smoky cooked fruit notes on the nose, tight vanilla on the fruit with tongue curdling acids on the finish.

2012 Dirty & Rowdy Mouverdre (Santa Barbara Highlands). Dark purple with toasty dark fruit on the nose, dusty, chalky and juicy with a tight finish.



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