Wine News

Dallas will host two major wine competitions in 2015

Dallas will host two major wine competitions in 2015

Rob, Dina, Michael Mondavi
The new TEXSOM International Wine Awards takes place in February 2015. Photo by Teresa Gubbins
James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks of TEXSOM
TEXSOM founders James Tidwell (left) and Drew Hendricks took over the wine competition earlier this year. Photo by Matt McGinnis
Rob, Dina, Michael Mondavi
James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks of TEXSOM

CORRECTION: The original version of this story stated that the Dallas Morning News is getting out of the wine business, but it will continue with its annual wine competition. The story has been updated to reflect this new information, including a statement from the DMN. We apologize for the error.


In 2015, Dallas will be home to two international wine competitions: one hosted by a pair of Master Sommeliers and the other a continuing contest hosted by the Dallas Morning News.

The former is called the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, which will take place February 23-24 in Irving, under the guidance of Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell, founders of the TEXSOM annual conference. The competition is now accepting entries.

The newly rebranded wine competition was founded by Rebecca Murphy, who sold it to Tidwell and Hendricks earlier this year. She will continue to consult on the project as the TEXSOM team continues the growth and influence of the competition.

“The competition is now in its 31st year,” said Tidwell, a best sommelier finalist in the 2014 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, in a release. “It has grown to become one of the best wine competitions in the United States. The judges list is a ‘who’s who’ of the most accomplished and influential luminaries in the wine world.

“Much of that success is due to the efforts of Rebecca Murphy, and we are thankful that she has entrusted this marquee event to our keeping.”

Tidwell and Hendricks founded TEXSOM in 2005 to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. It began as a small gathering of a few sommeliers; today, the conference draws a total of 900 attendees, of whom 700 are sommeliers and other beverage industry professionals.

“It has grown into one of the most prestigious gatherings of wine personalities in the world,” said spokesman Michael Wangbickler. “Nowhere else will you find such a collection of Master Sommeliers. Now they’ll be working on the competition too.”

In addition to the new name, TEXSOM has launched a new website to better feature the award-winning wines, the judges and the team behind the competition. In addition, visitors to the site can search for award-winning wines from previous years.

In a November 21 statement, the Dallas Morning News says its wine competition will still go on:

In the tradition of the wine event founded by the late Burl Osborne, Dallas Morning News former executive editor and publisher, the Dallas Morning News looks forward to the 31st annual celebration of its signature wine competition with a soon-to-be-announced date for 2015.

As an outgrowth of his love for wine, Osborne spearheaded the first competition in 1984 and hired wine consultant Rebecca Murphy to assist him. In continuing this passion surrounding wine, current Morning News publisher and CEO Jim Moroney has followed Osborne’s lead in supporting the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition since he became publisher in 2001.

In response to a new area wine awards event announced this week to be organized by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks under the umbrella of TEXSOM with Rebecca Murphy consulting, Moroney said, “As we plan our upcoming annual wine competition, the Morning News will continue to build on its 30-year tradition of engagement and support for the wine industry and the consumers’ love affair with wine. The new Tidwell and Hendricks event brings more attention to the importance of the wine industry in Texas, which we all welcome.”