Austin’s Sayre takes Texas’ Best Sommelier Title

Congratulations, Mark Sayre!

The 2007 Texas Sommelier Conference (TEXSOM) Competition Champion was announced last night at the Grand Tasting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. Mark Sayre, 28, of Austin, was chosen as the Champion. For the 2nd year in a row, Austin rules the roost in Texas! Ask any “cool and clever” winemaker and they’ll tell you Austin is the wine capitol of Texas and where everything in the industry is happening, unless you’re speaking strictly wine magazine ratings and corporate Top-4o, factory juice. I believe this is a strong suit to the wine and culinary happenings of Texas and Austin more specifically. Austin is young, playful, vibrant, and breeds a serious love of the good life.

The Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition is an annual competition sponsored by the Texas Sommelier Association and The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation. The event is held in conjunction with the Texas Sommelier Conference, and is limited to 25 Texas wine industry professionals.

The competition is a three-part exam consisting of theory, service, and tasting. The exam tests participants knowledge and ability in all areas of the sommelier profession. These areas include, but are not limited to: wine, beer, spirits and liqueurs, sake, cigars, etiquette of service, composure and professionalism, salesmanship, and practical usage of each of these.”

The winner receives the title of ‘Texas Best Sommelier’ and an award package that includes scholarships from three major wine certifying bodies including The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, the International Wine Center and the Society of Wine Educators, in addition to airfare donated by American Airlines. In last year’s conference, Austin swept the competition with Devon Broglie of Whole Foods Market winning the title and two other Austinites, Craig Collins and Scott Cameron, snagging the runners-up.

Currently at the Four Seasons Austin, Sayre was previously responsbile for beefing up Westwood Country Club’s Restaurant wine list and putting it in gear. He’s testing for the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced in October (Broglie, Collins, and Cameron recently passed this rigorous exam), which could clear the path to be invited to become a Master Sommelier Candidate. I’m sure Sayre’s day-to-day is about to change.


Guy Stout, of Houston, is currently the only Master Sommelier in Texas (also the only Master of Wine in Texas!)


~ by GoodTasteReport on September 6, 2007.

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