The Schedule

Thank you to everyone who attended the 15th Annual TEXSOM Conference
A week of ideas and connections


Wine Chemistry for Professionals*

This is a two day seminar

*Additional cost not included with conference registration: $75

Speakers: Benoît Marsan, Ph.D., Professor, International Wine Chemistry Instructor, Département de chimie, Université du Québec à Montréal

Dr. Benoît Marsan leads a dive into the chemistry of the grape and wine, including aspects of aroma, structure, aging, and changes during the various processes affecting wine.


Lunch (not included)


Opening Remarks


Red Burgundy: Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and the Mâconnais

Speakers: Larry Stone MS and Rajat Parr

The Côte de Nuits contains some of the most-recognized names for red wines in Burgundy, but the Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and the Mâconnais produce red wines that provide a range of styles and uses. Larry Stone MS and Rajat Parr explore these regions and the wines they produce.

The Soul of the Boot

Speakers: Ian D'Agata and Laura Depasquale MS

Southern Italy and Sardinia offer a range of wines to explore from a variety of grapes and diverse regions. Laura DePasquale MS and Ian D'Agata offer information and perspectives on Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, and Sardinia

Portugal's Big Four Red Wine Regions: Douro, Bairrada, Dao, Alentejo

Speakers: Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and Keith Goldston MS

Following on last year's seminar of Portugal's Great White Grapes, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW and Keith Goldston MS explore the "Big Four" red wine regions of Portugal.

Natural Fermentations

Speakers: Bree Boskov MW, Melissa Monosoff MS, Bronwen Percival, and Francis Percival

Francis Percival leads a group of experts in a discussion of the processes, results, and percpetions regarding natural fermentations for beer as presented by Melissa Monosoff MS, cheese as presented by Bronwen Percival, and wine as presented by Bree Boskov MW.


Conference Lunches

Wine Australia

Vinho Verde

Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association

Wines of Germany

Champagne Taittinger

Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits

Lodi Wines

Wines of Uruguay


Folio Fine Wine Partners

Fisher Vineyards & Donald Patz Wine Group


Greece's Noble White Variety: Assyrtiko

Speakers: Olga Crawford MW and Terry Kandylis

The range of Assyrtiko throughout Greece will be evaluated with respect to the recognizable characteristics, distinct expressions, and quality.

Varieties Focus: Three C's of Cinsault, Carignane, and Criollo

Speakers: Elaine Chukan Brown, Nicholas Paris MW, and Wayne Belding MS

Cinsault, Carignane, and Criollo occupy niche but important positions in the wine world with specific regions highlighting examples of each. These grapes and the regions that produce them will be examined.

Does Your Tea Program Match Your Wine, Cocktail, and Coffee Program?: Tea for Sommeliers

Speakers: Kyle Stewart and Jeni Dodd

Wine, cocktail, and coffee programs are sources of pride for sommeliers, but what of the tea program? Kyle Stewart and Jeni Dodd offer practical methods for increasing the quality and profitability of a tea program.

New Zealand's Big Three Reds: Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blends in Context

Speakers: Matthew Deller MW

Pinot Noir is the most-recognized red wine from New Zealand but Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends are well-understood classics in the country. All three types of wine will be set in context with examples from other regions around the world.


The World of Fine Wine Presents:
Bonus Seminar: A Bibliography for the Bibulous

Speakers: Phil Reedman MW, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Francis Percival, and Larry Stone MS

Phil Reedman MW leads an all-star panel of Sarah Jane Evans MW, Francis Percival, Larry Stone MS, and Josh Raynolds in a discussion of the printed word as relates to wine, how each of the panelists were influenced in their path by their reading, and which books or authors were most valuable.


What Is a Flaw?

Speakers: Jamie Goode PhD and Elaine Chukan Brown

Elaine Chukan Brown and Jamie Goode PhD post the question of what constitutes a flaw, trace the history of flaws, and debate what might (and might not) be considered flaws in the current era.

Acquisition, Authentication, and Pricing of After-Market Wines

Speakers: Maureen Downey

Maureen Downey explains the opportunities and challenges of authenticating, acquiring, and pricing of after-market wines.

Muscadet as a Framework for Wine Study

Speakers: Kelli White

Kelli White creates a framework for wine study utilizing Muscadet as an example.

Australian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir: Modern Classics

Speakers: Chris Tanghe MS

Australia's history with wine has emphasized many grapes, most notably Shiraz, but interest in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has created these as modern classics. Chris Tanghe MS will offer reasons why these wines have risen in prestige and explain the regions that have become most-recognized for producing them.

On the Cusp: German and Austrian Wine Regions

Speakers: Laura Williamson MS and Jesse Becker MS

Laura Williamson MS and Jesse Becker MS explore the Austrian and German regions that are on the rise as new regions challenge the historically famous areas.

MS Blind Tasting Exercise

Speakers: Devon Broglie MS, Emily Wines MS, Keith Goldston MS, Melissa Monosoff MS, Shayn Bjornholm MS, and Thomas Price MS

An exercise to hone skills and gain understanding for those who are attempting certfication through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

WSET Practical Tasting Exercise

Speakers: Dilek Caner MW, Antony Moss MW, and David Wrigley MW

An exercise to hone skills and gain understanding for those who are attempting certfication through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

Beer Tasting for Sommeliers

Speaker: Rich Higgins, MC, CS

Master Cicerone, certified sommelier, and professional brewer Rich Higgins teaches a Deductive Beer Tasting Method to improve comprehension, description, and discipline when evaluating beer, and broaden your understanding of both beer and wine by comparing the tasting formats for each.




Sparkling Wine Production

Speakers: Charles Curtis MW, Christy Canterbury MW, Brian Cronin MS, Jack Mason MS

Examine sparkling wine production methods, the resulting styles of wines, the regions that produce each style, commerical factors affecting the each method, and ways that each can be utilized in wine programs.

Variety Focus: Tempranillo

Speakers: Sarah Jane Evans MW, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, and Jessica Dupuy

Evaluate Tempranillo in its many expressions through the viticulture, vinification, and styles of regions around the world anchored with the examples from the classic producing countries of Spain and Portugal and forays into the United States, Australia, Argentina, and others.

Tasting Classic Fortified Wines: An MS/MW/WSET Perspective

Speakers: Shayn Bjornholm MS and Antony Moss MW

Learn different approaches to evaluating and assessing classic fortified wines, and how these approaches complement one another.

How to Taste in a Post-Modern World

Speakers: Mary Margaret McCamic MW and Melissa Monosoff MS

Mary Margaret McCamic MW and Melissa Monosoff MS discuss how to balance story and changing opinions of what constitutes "good" wine and wine flaws with a consistent and structured method for assessing wines.


Conference Lunches

Barossa Australia

Taub Family Selections

Willamette Valley Wine

Viña Cobos Paul Hobbs

Kobrand Corporation

Masion Louis Jadot & Zind Humbrecht

Broadbent Selections

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

The Wine Group

Rías Baixas Wines

Wines of Garnacha


Heritage Brands: Opportunities and Challenges for Buyers

Speakers: Emily Pickral MS and Craig Collins MS

In an era that values the next new thing, learn how heritage brands can provide quality, prestige, and profitability for any program.

Aging Rosé

Speakers: Mary Gorman MW and Sheri Morano MW

Mary Gorman MW and Sheri Morano MW explore aging of rosé including opportunities and challenges, purpose and necessity, and which rosé wines are made to age.

Exploring Your Own Backyard: Hybrids, Fruit Wines, Heritage Cider, Mead, and New Styles

Speakers: Jim Clarke and Remy Charest

Jim Clarke and Remy Charest investigate the beverages produced in regions that might not be able to produce consistent vinifera wines. The use of these beverages in programs, and their potential from the locavore movement to wider audiences will be considered. Paradigms for evaluation and the positioning of these as world-class quality beverages will be considered.

Adapting for New Realities: Recommendations for a New Generation and Anticipating a New Temperance Movement

Speakers: Elaine Chukan Brown and Paul Mabray

How do sommeliers adapt to new realities? Elaine Chukan Brown and Paul Mabray will examine this question and discuss how sommeliers can seek to broaden their knowledge to ensure that value remains in the sommelier position.


The World of Fine Wine Presents:
Bonus Seminar: Form and Content of Wine Lists

Speakers: Francis Percival, Moderator Alexandra Cherniavsky, Ganna Federova, Andrew McNamara MS, Keith Goldston MS, Terry Kandylis

A survey of the form and content of wine lists through time with a view to the future fo the wine list.


The Past, Present, and Future of Wine Education and Certification

Speakers: Devon Broglie MS, Ian Harris DipWSET, Geoff Kruth MS, Peter Marks MW and Drew Hendricks MS

As WSET turns 50, leaders of the main certification and education organizations discuss the common history of the organizations, the history of wine education and certification, what the roles are today, and where education and cerification are headed.

Iconic Retrospective Vertical Tasting: Terlan Pinot Bianco

Speakers: Klaus Gasser

Four decades of Terlan Pinot Bianco will be offered as Klaus Gasser illustrates what made this an iconic wine.

SOMMFoundation Presents

Speakers: Jay James MS, Fred Dame MS, Guy Stout MS, Andrew McNamara MS, and Emily Wines MS

Some aged wines from the SOMMFoundation cellar and a rock star panel to illuminate them. 'Nough said.

Structural Changes During Wine Aging

Speakers: Benoit Marsan PhD

Benoit Marsan offers insight into the effects of aging on the structual components of wine. This is a technical seminar but taught so that anyone can gain better understanding of wine aging.

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