‘I am Not Worthy!’-My Day at the TopSomm Regionals

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The past week has been insane. The first radio episode for Terroir Radio went off this Saturday, with a couple of hiccups, but all good in the hood. A big shout out to Chris Travers, winemaker at Mayacamas, for sharing his story to all willing to hear…

And then, the quick preparation for the TopSOMM regionals, held in sunny Chicago, where it is currently 28 degrees and freezing rain. Not that I am terribly concerned, because I have a glass of Chablis in front of me, calibrating my palate for the upcoming blind tasting portion of the competition. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the rundown, yo, this is how it goes…

TopSOMM is a sommelier competition held by the Guild of Sommeliers, to find the best somm in the United States. The selection process begins in January, where you take an online quiz (which was f*#%king wicked hard), and then the scores are tallied. If you make the cut, you are invited to one of four regional competitions (West, Central, South, East), and battle it out with the best talent in the country. The winners from those competitions will advance to the finals, held in San Francisco which, I suspect, will be as wet and cold as Chi-town. Can’t we do it in Hawaii or something?

That’s if I am considered worthy enough. Which is counterintuitive, given the role of a sommelier; we stress humility and grace in how we carry ourselves. You can, however, at any time, call bullshit. We are wine geeks, and the ham in all of us (salami, personally) likes to see where we are in the grand scale of things. Also, it is fantastic practice for the Master Sommelier exam coming up in May. But I say, there are great sommeliers, many of whom I consider friends, and this is a great way to catch up. It’s somewhat like a family reunion, only with wine and service instead of beer and dominoes. Not to mention the hot second cousin you can look at, but cannot touch…

I just finished round 1-theory. Good times. Wait, the Chablis is kicking in…let’s see how the blind tasting goes. Maybe I will get time to go down to Douglas Park, and take a pic of me in front of the Gallagher house from ‘Shameless’…

Yeah. I dig shows about dysfunctional families. Reminds me of my own…

Like I said…’I am not worthy…!’


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