Four Takeaways from 2015 TEXSOM
Looking back to my first Texsom in 2008, I’ve attended a majority of the TEXSOM conferences over its past eleven years. As I recall, the first one I attended barely broke an attendance of around 200 people. The vast majority were local sommeliers (barely enough to fill a hotel ballroom). They were bolstered by a moderate-sized group of wine aficionados who attended the TEXSOM grand tasting. But, one thing’s been clear during this time, the driver for this event has been the vision of TEXSOM founders and Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to create a unique event for career-minded beverage professionals.
This year’s TEXSOM (held August 8-10) was a “grown-up” version of James’s and Drew’s early conferences now having six simultaneous breakout sessions each morning and afternoon over the two-day period. This year, it brought to the Four Seasons Resort Dallas (Las Colinas) over 1000 attendees including nearly a third of all Certified Master Sommeliers residing in the United States.
The reality of TEXSOM is that there is really no other wine and beverage educational event operating at the same caliber. Its attributes includes:
- Extensive guided tastings and panel presentations lead by MS, MW and international wine luminaries
- Sommeliers, wine professionals and volunteers in attendance now come from over 18 states.
- The 11th annual Best Sommelier competition has now expanded beyond Texas to include surrounding states with (I presume) expansion in sight to reach all of America’s coasts.
- Associated educational courses and certification examinations from both the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas and the UK-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust.
I have four major takeaways from the 2015 TEXSOM that I want to share with you.
#1 – As a Taster, I Have the Opportunity to Learn from the World’s Best
It was an honor to sit, taste and learn from the best and most knowledgeable professionals in the beverage industry. This year my personal track was: