Party Watch

Houston's hottest sommeliers wine and dine for a worthy cause

Houston's hottest sommeliers wine and dine for a worthy cause

Iron Sommelier 2019 Andres Blanco Caracol
Caracol's Andres Blanco won the top prize. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Chris Shepherd Lindsey Brown
Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Christian Varas, David Keck, Sean Beck, Jason Mason, Steve McDonald
Sommeliers Christian Varas, David Keck, Sean Beck, Jack Mason, and Steven McDonald. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Kellie Jenks and Camille Barreto
Kellie Jenks and Camille Barreto. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Jeffery Young Georgia James
Georgia James' Jeffery Young pours for an attendee. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Dale Ellington and Sarah Harshaw
Dale Ellington and Sarah Harshaw. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Bridget Elizabeth Paliwoda The Annie
The Annie Cafe's Bridget Elizabeth Paliwoda. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Emily Tolbert Noble Rot
Emily Tolbert of Noble Rot Wine Bar. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Chris Poldoian Camerata at Paulie's
Chris Poldoian of Camerata at Paulie's. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Erin Otness and Monica Ho
Erin Otness and Monica Ho. Photo by Dave Rossman
Iron Sommelier 2019 Andres Blanco Caracol
Iron Sommelier 2019 Chris Shepherd Lindsey Brown
Iron Sommelier 2019 Christian Varas, David Keck, Sean Beck, Jason Mason, Steve McDonald
Iron Sommelier 2019 Kellie Jenks and Camille Barreto
Iron Sommelier 2019 Jeffery Young Georgia James
Iron Sommelier 2019 Dale Ellington and Sarah Harshaw
Iron Sommelier 2019 Bridget Elizabeth Paliwoda The Annie
Iron Sommelier 2019 Emily Tolbert Noble Rot
Iron Sommelier 2019 Chris Poldoian Camerata at Paulie's
Iron Sommelier 2019 Erin Otness and Monica Ho

What: The Periwinkle Foundation’s Iron Sommelier 2019

Where: The Houstonian Hotel, Club, and Spa

The scoop: Game Seven of the World Series did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 650 people who packed the Houstonian's ballroom for this annual event that attracts some of Houston's most talented sommeliers. Participants such as Evan Turner (Ouzo Bay), Emily Tolbert (Noble Rot Wine Bar), Robert Waltrip III (Yauatcha), and Justin Vann (Public Services) present three wines with a common theme to a panel of master sommeliers, event attendees, and as part of a seated, multi-course dinner for underwriters. 

In the end, the experts — master sommeliers Scott Tyree, Drew Hendricks, and Houston's own June Rodil — selected the same winner as the people: Andres Blanco, Caracol's newly minted advanced sommelier. Julie Dalton (Mastro's) and Chris Poldoian (Camerata at Paulie’s) took first and second runner-up, respectively. 

Now in its 12th year, this annual wine competition raised over $400,000 for The Periwinkle Foundation's Camps, Arts and Survivor programs for children, teens, and their families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. That includes support from the underwriters as well as a silent auction that included rare wines, spirits, and culinary adventures with many of the night's participants. 

Who: Lindsey Brown and Chris Shepherd, Misty and Russell Roegels, Bobby Matos, William Meznarich, Samantha PorterAraz Garakanian, Nick Muscara, Amy Allen, Kellie Jenks, Morgan Taylor, Sandra Crittenden, Julie Cannoy and Doug Osburn, Marti and Jack Carr, Anne and John Clutterbuck, Rhonda and KC Weiner, and Alison Cook.