Kenneth Freeman Of Sixty Vines Named Best Sommelier At 14th Annual Texsom

2018 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition Presented by Texas Monthly

Kenneth Freeman Of Sixty Vines Named Best Sommelier At 14th Annual TexsomTEXSOM co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell yesterday announced at the TEXSOM Grand Tasting presented by ProWein that Kenneth Freeman of Sixty Vines in Uptown Dallas is the 2018 TEXSOM Best Sommelier. The 2018 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition, presented by Texas Monthly, takes place during TEXSOM, the most prominent and influential wine education conference in the United States, held annually at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

Kenneth Freeman Of Sixty Vines Named Best Sommelier At 14th Annual Texsom
Kenneth Freeman

Freeman topped an impressive field of 25 other competitors in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting and theory. An elite panel of Master Sommelier judges named Freeman the 2018 TEXSOM Best Sommelier at a ceremony on Monday evening.  The competition is a traditional part of TEXSOM. To participate, candidates must be a current resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Texas and must not have passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Examination or won the competition previously.

“Though we’ve grown over the past 14 years, the mission of TEXSOM continues to be the advancement of our industry and the elevation of service standards in a constant quest for excellence,” said Tidwell. “The TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition is an opportunity for those individuals who show both a drive to learn and a commitment to these principles. We offer wholehearted congratulations to Kenneth for winning the competition this year. We see a bright future for him and will follow with interest, his accomplishments over the next few years.”

In addition to laying claim to the title of “2018 TEXSOM Best Sommelier,” Freeman received a scholarship of $2,500 from SOMMFoundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. Lindsay Drew of Guild in Austin was the runner up and will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and the 3rd place winner Morgan Gray of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Houston will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Held August 10th to 13th at Four Seasons Resort and Club Las Colinas and co-presented by the not-for-profit organizations GuildSomm, SOMMFoundation, Court of Master Sommeliers – Americas, and Wine & Spirit Education Trust—TEXSOM is the only event of its kind in the United States.  The speakers and judges constitute a who’s who list of the nation’s top wine professionals. Dozens of Master Sommeliers (MS), Masters of Wine (MW), Certified Wine Educators (CWE), and other respected industry professionals were integral parts of the conference.

The 2018 TEXSOM conference featured a stellar line-up of speakers, mentors, and competition judges, including:

•    Serafin Alvarado MS
•    Gillian Ballance MS
•    Christopher Bates MS
•    Wayne Belding MS
•    John Blazon MS
•    Bree Boskov MW
•    Devon Broglie MS
•    Jim Bube MS
•    Dilek Caner PhD MW
•    Christy Canterbury MW
•    Elaine Chukan Brown
•    Matt Citriglia MS
•    Jim Clarke
•    Craig Collins MS
•    Brian Cronin MS
•    Charles Curtis MW
•    Ian D’Agata
•    Frederick L. Dame MS
•    Mark Davidson
•    Laura DePasquale MS
•    Jessica Dupuy
•    Sarah Jane Evans MW
•    Michael Franz Ph.D.
•    Keith Goldston MS
•    Mary Gorman-McAdams MW
•    Peter Granoff MS
•    Greg Harrington MS
•    Ian Harris DipWSET MBE
•    Drew Hendricks MS
•    Jay James MS
•    David Keck MS
•    Geoff Kruth MS
•    Ernst Loosen
•    Jack Mason MS
•    Mary Margaret McCamic MW
•    Andrew McNamara MS
•    Melissa Monosoff MS
•    Sheri Morano MW
•    Antony Moss DipWSET MW
•    Nicholas Paris MW
•    Aaron Patrick MS
•    Francis Percival
•    Thomas Price MS
•    Josh Raynolds
•    Jean K. Reilly MW
•    Laura Rhys MS
•    Treve Ring DipWSET
•    June Rodil MS
•    Joseph Spellman MS
•    Guy Stout MS
•    Chris Tanghe MS
•    Liz Thach Ph.D. MW
•    Dirceu Vianna Junior MW
•    Kelli White
•    Nigel Wilkinson MS
•    Virginia Wilcock
•    David Wrigley DipWSET MW
•    Debbie Zachareas

2018 Sponsors: The event is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors, with scholarships provided by the SOMMFoundation.

 Sponsors include:

(Presenting Sponsors) Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas; GuildSomm; SOMMFoundation; Wine & Spirits Education Trust.

(Platinum Sponsors) Aqua Panna; Balzac Communications & Marketing; Broadbent Selections; Classic Wine Merchants; E&J Gallo Winery; Fortessa; Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas; ProWein; Republic National Distributing Company; Ribera y Rueda; San Pellegrino; Silver Oak/Twomey; The Sorting Table; Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; TEXSOM International Wine Awards; TRU Estates and Vineyards; Washington State Wine; Wine Australia; Wines from Spain.

(Gold Sponsors) Australia Classic & Rare; Banfi Vintners; Banville Wine Merchants; Barossa Australia; Classified Wine Imports; Champagne Taittinger; Chappellet Winery; Coravin; Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.; GoVino; Irving Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kistler Vineyards; Loosen Bros. USA; Louis Jadot; Lux Wines; Massanois; Mutual Trading Company; Old Bridge Cellars; Oregon Wine Board; Rhone Valley Vineyards; Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans; Texas Fine Wine; Repour Winesaver; Vintus; Wilson Daniels; Wines of South Africa.

(Silver Sponsors) Bliss Wine Imports; Cape Classics; Crimson Wine Group; DSWS; Domaines Albert Bichot; Empson USA; Esprit du Vin; Europvin; Folio Fine Wine Partners; Gerard Bertrand; Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District; Graves – Sauternes; Helen & Joey Estate; Iron Horse Vineyards; Jackson Family Wines; Jeroboam; Kobrand Fine Wine and Spirits; C. N. Kopke; Lake County Winegrape Commission; Lodi Wines; Multicarte Inc.; MundoVino; Napa Valley Vintners; New Zealand Wine; North Berkeley Imports; Old World Vines; Ole Imports; Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; Provence Rose Group; Serendipity Wines; Sideshow Wine Freaks Tour; The Cultured Cup; The Wine Group; Vina Cobos by Paul Hobbs; Vini Fantini by Farnese; Vinos D.O. Navarra; West Sonoma Coast Vintners; Willamette Valley Wine; Wines of Chile; Wines of Georgia; Wines of Germany; Wines of Greece; Wines of Turkey; Wine of Uruguay; Winesellers, Ltd; Yraden Inc.

(Bronze Sponsors) Achaval Ferrer; Alexander Valley Vineyards; Almaviva; Arinzano; Austrian Wine; Barnett Vineyards; Becker Vineyards; Bellavista; Bending Branch Winery; Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana; Brazos Wine; Champagne Collet; Chapel Down; Charles Krug; Clos du Val; Craft + Estate; Crown Point Vineyards; Dalla Terra Winery District; Dashe; Delectatio; Domaine Roy & Fils; Dry Creek Vineyard; DuMol; Ehlers Estate; Emeritus Vineyards; Faustino; Fisher Vineyards; Foley Family Wines; Fredrick Wildman & Sons; Freemark Abbey; Gonzales Byass; Groth Vineyards & Winery; Gruet; Hahn Family Wines; Hartford Family Winery; Hope Family Wines; Hundred Acre; Jax; Joseph Phelps Vineyards; Lange Twins; Lede Family Wines; Left Coast Cellars; Lewis Wines; Mad Fritz; McPherson; Messina Hof Winery & Resort; Mionetto USA; Montagu; Murrieta’s Well; O’Neill Vintners & Distillers; Ontanon; Obsidian Wine Co.; Pahlmeyer Wayfarer; Patz & Hall; Pedernales Cellars; Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance; Premium Port Wines; Quivara Vineyards; R & R Selections; Ramey Wine Cellars; Ranchos de Ontiveros; Revana Family Vineyard; Rex Hill; Siduri; SM Wine Group; Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Tamber Bey; The Hess Collection; Third Leaf; Torbreck; Trefethen Family Vineyards; Villa Maria; Ventisquero; Vineyard Brands; Vintage Point; William Chris Vineyards; ZD Wines; Zuccardi.

Founded in 2005, the TEXSOM conference was started by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. Today the conference draws more than 1,300 attendees, of whom more than 800 are sommeliers and other beverage industry professionals. In addition to the conference, the group also manages the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, one of the largest, most respected, and longest-running in the United States.