May Looks Great for June

There is no question that Austin is a hot spot on the food and wine radar right now.  Some spots are hotter than others, of course, and one Sommelier in town seems to be at the center of it all.

June Rodil began her career in the industry at The Driskill Hotel under the leadership of Chef David Bull.  It was during that time that she fell in love with the food and wine world and made an abrupt change in career paths.  She left a path headed for bar exams and dove into a different kind of “bar” exam, Sommelier certification.  She wowed TEXSOM in 2009 and continues to wow in the top restaurants in Austin.

From the Driskill, she went to Uchi to work under Tyson Cole, another star in Austin and in the national realm.  She then returned to fine dining with David Bull at his next endeavor, Congress.  So where does one go from there?  To work with Top Chef winner Paul Qui, of course.

Qui, which will open this Spring, is one of the most anticipated restaurants in Austin right now.  Paul is currently involved in East Side Kings, which will continue serving creative cuisine to the trailer crowd.  Qui will take it up a notch (or three) with his flagship restaurant.  Rodil will be in charge of pairing his eclectic menu with wines and spirits.

June Rodil is no stranger to awards.  She’s been named “Texas’s Best Sommelier” by Texas Sommelier Association, Rising Star Sommelier, and Best New Sommelier in 2011 by the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.  This month, she has also been chosen, along with eleven other Sommeliers, to attend the 2013 Sommelier Symposium at Ridge Vineyards.  During the two-day event, they will visit the historic Monte Bello vineyard in Cupertino and Lytton Springs in Sonoma.  They will be given the opportunity to learn from 2013 Winemakers’ Winemaker, Paul Draper, tour the properties, and participate in barrel and vertical tastings.  The Sommeliers will experience first-hand the commitment to excellence and sustainable practices that are Ridge Vineyards.

Jealous?  Me too.  And although we won’t be able to do vertical tastings and dine with the winemakers, we can participate.  For the first time, the people at Ridge are making it available to the other Somms, SAHMs, and wine lovers.  Through the wonders of social media and live streaming, we can learn alongside of the country’s top Sommeliers.  Check in to the Ridge Blog, You Tube, or Facebook for videos and chat using #RidgeSomms on Twitter.  The event will take place in May 20th and 21st.

I hope to visit Ridge in person when I visit Sonoma this summer.  In the meantime, I’ll pour a glass of Ridge wine and enjoy the opportunity to learn more about what is in my glass.  Congratulations, June and I hope to see you at Qui this spring.  Cheers!

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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