From the Room Where it Happened: Backstreet Cafe, Periwinkle & 2020 Iron Somm Evan Turner

On November 12, Houston’s finest sommeliers were put to the test for the title of Iron Sommelier in the city’s premier wine competition and fundraiser ​benefiting The Periwinkle Foundation. Each competing sommelier selected​two wines which focused on a particular wine region, grape or style, and a ​panel of judges ratedwine choice, presentation, creativity, and knowledge of ​their wine selections.

The event raised over $237,000 for Periwinkle’s Camps, Arts and Survivor programs for children, teens and their families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

This year it was planned safely as a socially-distanced competition, The Periwinkle Foundation offered both virtual and in-person opportunities for guests to experience. Individual Ticket holders were provided with a tasting flight of 12 wines to enjoy at home and had access to the virtual Iron Sommelier judging presentation and live presentations from competing sommeliers and guest winemakers.

Where it happened: Houston’s Backstreet Cafe

Sommeliers competing in the 2020 competition included: Farrah Cauley – ​Sonoma Wine Bar, Adele Corrigan – 13 celsius Wine Bar, Matt Crawford – State ​of Grace, Julie Dalton – Mastro’s Steakhouse, Eric Estefano – Pappas Bros ​Steakhouse, Marcus Gausepohl – Brennan’s, Whitney Seng – The Coronado ​Club, Lindsay Thomas – River Oaks Country Club, Emily Tolbert – Savoir, Evan Turner – Krasi Meze & Wine, Justin Vann – Public Services Bar and Theodore ​Rex, and Jeffrey Young – Georgia James.

The view from the room where it happened – in person

​The competing sommeliers were judged by: Craig Collins, MS, Antonio Gianola ​and June Rodil, MS.

At the end of the evening, Evan Turner, KrasiMeze & Wine, took home the title of Iron Sommelier 2020 with what else, his love & passion: “Meet and Greek: Rare Grapes of Greece” theme. Other awards included: 1st runner up – Justin Vann, Nancy’s Hustle and Theodore Rex; 2nd runner up – Julie Dalton, Mastro’s; Best Presentation – Evan TurnerKrasi Meze & Wine; ​People’s Choice – Evan TurnerKrasi Meze & Wine.

Evan’s premise is that Greek wines have finally arrived as mainstream, and it now the time to dig even deeper into lesser known wines and grape varieties of Greece. Enjoy his presentation:

Explore the following links and continue to explore the fascinating themes from this year’s competing sommeliers and view their full presentations by clicking their names below!
Farrah CauleyAdele CorriganMatt Crawford
Julie DaltonEric EstefanoMarcus Gausepohl
Whitney SengLindsay ThomasEmily Tolbert
Evan TurnerJustin VannJeffrey Young
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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.