Six glasses stood between him and his Master Sommelier title

master sommelier texas david keckAbove: Newly minted Master Sommelier recounts the tense moments as he and 62 other candidates awaited the results of their examinations in Aspen last month.

Just a few years ago, even as its visibility had grown considerably, the Court of Master Sommeliers received only a sliver of the number of applications it receives today. The last time I asked, more than 600 people had applied to join its ranks in one year alone. That’s a lot, especially when you consider that there are only 237 Master Sommmeliers (including David) worldwide. And that’s also a lot of disappointment. Only a handful of candidates will pass the grueling examinations: theory (probably the toughest), wine service, and the dreaded blind tasting, where candidates must correctly identify at least five of six wines.

Last week I sat down with newly minted Master Sommelier David Keck of Houston (above). Happily for his and my adoptive city, he returned victorious from the Aspen exams in May. But he was one of just three new Master Sommeliers in a group of 63 who had been seated for the tests.

In my post today for the Houston Press, I share a little bit of his experience waiting to find out his results in blind tasting.

In other news…

Have you ever wondered why so many wines from Piedmont are called bricco this and bricco that?

I wrote a post (of which I am particularly proud) on the origins and usage of the term last week for the Tenuta Carretta blog.

And in case you’ve been pondering Arneis lately, check out this post I translated for the nice folks (and my clients) at Carretta.

In other other news…

I’ll be moderating a panel and attending a luncheon at the Wine and Food Festival in the Woodlands (Houston) on Friday. I believe there are still seats available. So please join me for some day drinking if you are so inclined.

Right now I’m on a plane heading to Chicago where I’ll be leading a standing-room-only guided tasting of Franciacorta at Perman Wine Selections. Apologies to all who couldn’t get in and thanks to all the wine professionals who will be coming.

Man, it was tough to say goodbye to our girls and Tracie P this morning after a super fun weekend of carousel rides, giraffes and zebras, dinosaurs, and French fries and milkshakes. But hey, someone’s got to pay the bills… See you on the other side…

parzen daughters

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