TexSom – Texas Sommelier Conference – Day 2 – was so amazing I almost cried with emotion.  Six formal tastings with fabulous speakers each lasting over an hour.  I don’t know how they pulled it off, but first speaker of the day was none other than Doug Frost, most unassuming, approachable “dude” you would ever meet; probably the only gentleman there without a suit on.  He is one of three people in the world to pass the Master Sommelier exam and become a Master of Wine.  Do you think this guy knows his stuff?  He discussed the “Terroir Focus: Wines of Spain.  Of the 8 wines we tasted, my favorite was the 2010 Avanthia Godello, Valdeorras.  This varietal grows in a maritime climate. This area is known for its dry crisp wines.  It is pale yellow, with a gold rim, with aromas of pear, mineral, honey, quartz, slate, & schist (even though I must admit that I have no idea what slate or schist smells or tastes like!).  As far as a tasting note goes: buy it!  My 2nd favorite was the 2008 Las Rocas Garnacha, Calatayud.  This is very terroir based, not a bad way, and a great value.

Next up:  “Regional Diversity: South Africa”, presented by Wayne Belding, MS; and John Blazon, MS.  Oh dear, South Africa!  I was rather skeptical as the only South African wine I have ever had was pinotage, which frankly I was not a fan.  This wine tasting cleared up my thoughts and feelings about SA wines by a mile.

Next up:  LUNCH! During that time each table of 12 or so each had 5 bottles on the table: all were excellent, and it is hard to pick a favorite, although the 2006 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine with the chocolate tart I was very partial to.  Other wines served were:  2008 Franciscan Chardonnay “Cuvee Sauvage”, 2008 Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc “Reserve” “To-Kalon Vineyard”, 2006 Ruffino “Modus”, and the 2005 Mount Veeder “Reserve” – all provided by Constellation Wines.

Next up:  “White Wines:  Benchmark Styles of Modern Classics”.  This was more of a panel speaking arrangement during the tasting:  Laura Williamson, MS: Peter Neptune, MS, DSW, CWE; and Keith Goldston, MS.  Shall we say Keith was the most “colorful” speaker of the lot – I needn’t say more for those attending.  There were wonderful, wonderful wines in this lot.  My favorite was the 2008 Knoll Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau, Austria.  Rich texture, rich, well balanced.  Keith chimed in saying it was hedonistic.  My 2nd favorite was the 2010 Tomero Torrontes, Salta Argentina.  It has a lemon green color, yet is floral – rosehips turning into geraniums.

Next up: “Varietal Focus: Grenache”.  I happenned to be volunteering that day and during this presentation, I was setting up the hospitality suites which opened at 5pm, after the last wine tasting.

Next and last up:  “Terroir Focus: Red Wines of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or”; presenters Fred Dame MS; and Rajat Parr.  Yum, yum, yum.  I can’t say I tasted a single wine I did not like, but here are my top 2 favorites.  My top favorite was the 2006 Drouhin-Laroze, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Au Closeau”.  My 2nd favorite was the 2007 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier, Nuits-St. Georges 1er Cru “Clos de la Marechale”.  Did I spell that correctly?

For anyone in Texas, or in the US, I highly advise attending TexSom – –

Thanks to all the organizers and people behind the scenes to make this conference fantastic.