Vanessa Treviño Boyd was named one of Food & Wine’s Best Sommeliers of 2012 for her expertly curated list of French and Californian wines at Philippe Restaurant in Houston. Since then, the award-winning sommelier and Ducasse alum has been busy launching an impressive by-the-glass program at the classy but casual Phil’s Wine Lounge (on the ground floor beneath the main restaurant) as well as organizing wine events, including an exciting new Guest Sommelier Series that launches on February 6.
“I wanted to pick some of the most fascinating people in the industry,” Treviño Boyd said of the guest sommeliers she’s chosen for her series. “Some of them I’m good friends with; some of them I’m not. I wanted to give each sommelier a chance to talk about what they’re really passionate about and what people are really turned on to these days in terms of wines.”
Each intimate roundtable tasting, taking place every other Wednesday at 6 p.m., will feature wines selected by the guest sommelier, centered on themes of his or her choosing. The lineup for the series is as follows: February 6, A Trip to Austria with Fred Jones of The Pass & Provisions; February 20, Cutting-Edge California Chardonnays with Jason Sherman of Brennan’s; March 6, Syrah Is Back with David Keck of Uchi; March 20, Sparkling Wine — Its Non-Champagne Counterparts with James Watkins of 11:11; April 3, Ungrafted, Wines from Deep Vines with Christian Varas of River Oaks Country Club; April 17, Bandol: The New Uber-Hip Wines with Kelly McCloud of Fleming’s Steakhouse; and May 1, Italy Off the Beaten Path with Adele Corrigan of 13 Celsius.
“All of the themes are so unique,” Treviño Boyd said. “For instance, Christian Varas is choosing wines from very old vines — really gnarly, 70-year-old vines that are high and whose roots are really thick, going down in the ground at least 10 or 12 feet. I don’t know what the wines are yet, but they’re all going to be intense wines, red, very chewy and earthy.”
The featured wines will be purchased and/or flown in specifically for each tasting, meaning they’re not coming from the respective sommeliers’ cellars. It’s a fantastic opportunity for any wine enthusiast to taste lesser-known, complex wines and rub elbows with some of Houston’s top wine talent. Seating is limited to 15 for each event and must be reserved in advance. The $40 tasting will include four wines and a cheeseboard.
Photos Courtesy of Shannon O’Hare, Kim Garver