From Denise Fondo’s superb Middle Crescent Kitchen blog:
I was scheduled to cover a number of demonstrations and events during the day, but managed to miss most of them. Too much food to taste! I did attend Boys Versus Girls Sommelier Blind Tasting hosted by Bonnie Graves. Randy Fuller will be writing about the this event on Now and Zin. Not to give anything away but Graves threw in a Two Buck Chuck as a trick wine and it was fun to watch sommeliers fooled into thinking it might sell for $12 a glass in a restaurant. Loved the surprise when it came out of the bag to be revealed as Trader Joe’s cheap and popular wine.
And from Randy Fuller’s great Now & Zin blog: The Sommelier Challenge
The highlight event for me was the Boys vs Girls Sommelier Blind Tasting challenge. Eight noted sommeliers – four men and four women – competed in a wine competition that was spirited and aimed more at whimsy than winning.
The Taste of Beverly Hills Event Sommelier Bonnie Graves presided over the competition with a light touch. It was an entertaining event which included panelists David Rosoff from Osteria Mozza, Dana Farner from CUT, Christopher Lavin from XIV, Caroline Styne of AOC and Lucques, Jonathan Mitchell of the Palm, Rebecca Chapa from the Culinary Institute of America, Mark Mendoza of Sona and Comme Ça, and Diane DeLuca from the Estates Group.
The competition was a battle of the sexes. The male sommeliers jumped out to an early lead with the correct identification of the first wine as Prosecco. The gentlemen scored again by getting the Macon Chardonnay right. The ladies nailed the Sauvignon Blanc, but could not correctly identify it as a New Zealand wine. Wine number four was the ringer – Charles Shaw Merlot – which sent both sides scurrying to name it – to no avail. The game changer for the women was getting the Rioja Tempranillo Reserva correct down to the last detail.