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With only $60 in their pockets, the guest sommelier and challenging in-house wine instructor must shop for the vinos that most complement each of four prepared dishes. This monthly master class, held at Philadelphia’s independent wine school, lets the audience pick the best pairing and has hosted Gary Vaynerchuck among other East Coast wine experts.
Sommelier Smackdown at Gordon’s Fine Wines and Culinary Center St. Waltham, Massachusetts
Local sommeliers duke it out over four courses in the 1,300 square-foot classroom in this Boston-area wine shop. Each month, local chefs prepare a four-course dinner and the sommeliers are given mere minutes after tasting each dish to choose and present a bottle from the store’s stock. The audience chooses the evening’s winner, who scores an immediate spot to defend the title in the next month’s showcase.
Sommelier Smackdown at Nios Restaurant New York City
Master sommelier Emily Wines (yep, that’s her real name) host these monthly events (which will return in April) where she challenges other wine experts, and occasionally local brewers and bartenders, to present the best pairing with three specially prepared courses. Intimately capped at 25 seats, Wines’ smackdowns are a great way to elbow up to some of the city’s top drinks experts.
Want to start your own wine-pairing workout? Check out "Pair & Share" in the March/April 2010 issue for pairing tips for the way you really eat.