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Master Sommeliers, Shiner, and The Salt Lick

Tub of Wine at The Salt Lick, opening night of Texas Sommelier ConferenceWe piled in the tour bus heading to Driftwood, Texas for a night of beer, wine, and barbecue at The Salt Lick–the official kick-off party for the 2008 Texas Sommelier Conference. The bus was filled with several of the most influential Master Sommeliers in the country. Naturally, I thought the ride was going to be punctuated by heated debates about acidity levels in Sangiovese grapes or something along those lines. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Turns out, Master Sommeliers really like beer. Shiner Bock and Lone Star to be exact. Several of the most influential MS’ in the world had the bus driver stop at a roadside liquor store to grab a few cases for the group. This is going to be a fun weekend. Once we arrived at The Salt Lick, Ray Wylie Hubbard was getting ready to start a set as the wine corks started to pop. Check out a video of Hubbard playing while Master Sommeliers Guy Stout and Fred Dame (in the white cowboy hat) dance a few lucky ladies around the room. Follow the jump for a list of my favorite wines of the night (all from Australia) and more blurry pics. I will have many more in focus pics in the coming days.

2008 Innocent Bystander Moscato, Victoria, Australia — an effervescent rose that is refreshing, fruity, and slightly floral. Slightly sweet. Overall, an easy drinking wine.

2006 John Duvall Plexus, Barossa Valley, Australia — This is a traditional Rhone blend of Shiraz (Syrah), Grenache, and Mourvedre. I loved the ease of this wine. Smooth, velvety, and balanced.

2006 d’Arenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache, McClaren Vale, Australia — Although it’s two years old, this tasted young, fruity–even a bit of blueberry–with light tannins.

Master Sommelier Guy Stout, Four Seasons Sommelier and TexSom founder James Tidwell, and MS and TexSom founder Drew Hendricks

Guy Stout, James Tidwell, Drew Hendricks

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