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Austin

Posts regarding food, wine, restaurants, chefs, technology, or travel in Austin, Texas.

Somms Under Fire is a month away and we are pleased to announce that tickets are on sale NOW. All ticket holders will enjoy featured event wines and small bites prepared by TRACE. VIP Ticket Holders will have preferred seating for the pairing competition and presentations to the Judges Panel. To add to this wine and food pairing experience, from now until April 2, 10% of revenues from all ticket sales will be donated to Austin Bakes for Japan, part of a nationwide foodie effort for relief in Japan. Support an admirable cause and treat yourself to a heated night of food and wine pairing that you won’t forget!

Buy VIP Tickets-Somms Under Fire Buy GA Tickets-Somms Under Fire

Austin Bakes for Japan-Somms Under Fire

 

 

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Paul Qui & Giorgio Rivetti

Uchiko Chef Paul Qui & La Spinetta Winemaker Giorgio Rivetti

Uchiko Austin

All work and no play makes Keeper Team very dull! We are hard at work for our upcoming Somms Under Fire event in May, so when we were called to play with some of the wonderful wines from Giorgio Rivetti and Indigenous Selections, Keeper said “let the party begin”!  And what a better way to play than with pairing Italian wines with the incredibly creative dishes by Chef Paul Qui at Uchiko. What happens when you put beautiful wines with delectable dishes in the Uchiko private dining room? Answer: a perfect pairing! We would certainly play it all over again if we could, but now it’s your turn!  Look at the Wine List and Menu (with some pics) below and tell us what you think would be YOUR favorite wine and food pairings.  Consider this a Somms  Under Fire warm up round!

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After four days of voting we finally have our Winner of the 2011 Wine Ride, June Rodil of Congress Austin! With this honor June has now secured a spot to compete against two other sommeliers (to be determined) in Somms Under Fire in early May 2011 for the chance to win an amazing grand prize package including a trip to San Francisco and an internship in Burgundy, France from Selection Becky Wasserman. The dreary weather couldn’t stop June’s enthusiasm from selecting her perfect pairings.  June was even able to name an overall Best Pairing of the Day, which included the Chestnut Soup with Fried Peanuts at Foreign & Domestic paired with the 2007 Domaine Michel LaFarge Bourgogne Aligote Raisin Dores.  While all Somms showed incredible talent and educated the audience with enlightening food and wine pairing tidbits, June took the cake among voters as the most educational Somm of the Wine Ride with her secret weapon, “Jazz Hands”.  “I learned that you should listen to your senses and take a human approach when pairing food and wine…have fun and explore,” said one observer.  To see a recap of some of June’s pairing skills and to see her “Jazz Hands” in action, watch the videos posted below.

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Click on the links below to read each teams’ blog post and learn what went on “behind the scenes” at each Wine Ride pairing venue.  Vote for your favorite Team Blog Post and help the Blogger, Photographer, and Facilitweeter of that team win an All Access Media Badge to Somms Under FireYou may vote only once from now until Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM CST.

Team Scott Barber Blog PostTeam Eric Hastings Blog PostTeam Jason Huerta Blog PostTeam June Rodil Blog PostTeam Mark Sayre Blog Post

Vote Now for Your Favorite 2011 Wine Ride Team Blog Post

Don’t forget to vote for your Favorite Somm, too!

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From Pucks to Pairings

by Team Eric

Sommelier: Eric Hastings, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Houston

Blogger: Kristi Willis, Austin Farm to Table

Photographer: Marshall Wright, Eat This Lens

Facilitweeter: Carla Crowner, Austin Urban Gardens

A group of Austin food writers and photographers are huddled around the back room of Uchiko on a rainy, chilly Sunday afternoon. You can feel a slight undercurrent of nervous energy as we wait to find out what is in store for us during today’s inaugural Keeper Collection Wine Ride.

Five Sommeliers from around the state are partnered with a team that includes a blogger, photographer and tweeter with the mission of traveling to four restaurants and food shops to pair food and wine, picking a perfect pair at each stop. The dishes and wines are a surprise, and only the Sommelier can taste, the rest of team relying on them to tell us what they are experiencing – an added challenge since we just met Eric Hastings, Sommelier of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in Houston.

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What happens when five top Texas sommeliers team up with Austin photographers, bloggers, and tweeters for a high-speed afternoon of food and wine pairings for a Wine Ride? Well, we found out. Five teams were formed, four locations were chosen, wine and food options were selected, and off we went. Team June was led by June Rodil, Beverage Director of Congress Austin, with photographer Loren Root of Loren J. Root Photography, food blogger Lisa Lawless from lisa is cooking, and facilitweeter Megan Myers of Stetted. Each team traveled to the four chosen locations in a different order and was carefully timed for a brief ten minutes at each spot as the sommelier tasted, pondered, and shared insights before declaring a best pairing from two wines and multiple food options presented. The goal of the Wine Ride was to educate everyone in attendance about the wines and how the pairings were chosen. At the end of the race, each sommelier discussed their pairings and were videotaped. Voting for the sommelier and viewing of those video presentations is taking place at sommsunderfire.com. The winning sommelier will win a spot to compete in the first ever Somms Under Fire. The second part of this event concerns a blog post submitted by each team. The winning team’s photographer, blogger, and facilitweeter will each win an all-access media badge to Somms Under Fire. Voting for the Team Blog Post is found at keepercollection.com, and we hope your vote will be for Team June!

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Reluctantly crouched at the Uchiko line, engines pumping and thumping in time. The green light flashes, the glasses go up.  Sipping and tasting, they yearn for the cup. We’re going the distance.  We’re going for the #wineride.  Join Mark Sayre of the Trio at the Four Seasons, John Knox (@windaddict/@hopsafari), Rachelle King (@blindedbite), and myself (@misohungry) for a fabulous wine ride journey.  Photos and video by John Knox (@windaddict).

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Posted by Team Blogger, Adam Brower – Hungry In Houston.  Contributing Team Members include Sommelier Scott Barber, Photographer Jo Ann Santangelo, & Facilitweeter Marshall Jones – @WineFoodTX 

Wine makes food taste better.  Food makes wine taste better.  How do you find that perfect pair?  The 2011 Wine Ride – An exciting race of wine pairing challenges from the brilliant minds at Keeper Collection that offered the perfect opportunity to see just how this is done. This weekend, I participated in the first Wine Ride, a series of wine pairing challenges at different Austin locations,  and my team witnessed firsthand the thought and creativity that goes into every food and wine pairing.  Think of the Wine Ride as an “Amazing Race” for foodies.  Five teams, each consisting of a Sommelier (or Somm), photographer, tweeter (or facilitweeter), and blogger competed in the race. 

adam brower taking notes for the Wine Ride team 3 blogOur team consisted of our Somm, Scott Barber of Centennial Fine Wine & Spirits in Dallas; photographer, Jo Ann Santangelo, Jo Ann Santangelo Photography; facilitweeter, Marshall Jones, the ED of the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas (and our race driver for the day!); and me, Adam Brower, HungryinHouston.com blogger.  The race began with the reveal of our team’s 4 destinations: 

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Posted by Team Blogger, Jeremy Parzen – Do Bianchi.  Contributing Team Members include Sommelier Jason Huerta, Photographer Aimee Wenske, & Facilitweeter Kay Marley-Dilworth – @ATXFoodnews

Vote for the sommelier at here and vote for the Team Blog Post Voting here. The winning Somm will win a spot to compete in Somms Under Fire.

Photos by Aimee Wenske.

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With the 2011 Wine Ride™ 1 month away, it’s about time you get to know that 5 Top Texas Sommeliers who will be competing on January 16, 2011 in The Race for the Perfect Pairing. We are fortunate to have some of the “industry’s best” along for the ride and now is their chance to prove it.

June Rodil, Congress Austin – Austin

June Rodil, Congress AustinJune Rodil grew up in Dallas, TX and moved to Austin in 1998 to attend the University of Texas.  At 19, she got a job at the Driskill Hotel as a cocktail waitress to help pay the bills while in school. She ended up staying there for seven years, moving up the ranks from bartending to room service, server and captain, and then finally helping the food and wine director with the wine program. “I guess I had the knack,” she says. “What I did not have the knack for was figuring [out] what I wanted to do with my life. I realized that I just kept getting higher education degrees because I was scared to go out in the world and do what I actually like. It was either wine or Law School. Had my bags packed to go to NYU and decided to stay here in the beautiful ATX when I landed the job at Uchi.” She was the sommelier at the acclaimed restaurant, and new sibling Uchiko, from May 2007 to Fall 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

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