Sommelier Showdown IV is just around the corner!

The Randall’s Wines and Spirits Sommelier Showdown returns to Copia Restaurant and Wine Garden as Glenn Bardgett, nationally recognized and award-winning Beverage Director for Annie Gunn’s, faces off against Linda McGovern, Certified Sommelier and head of Major Brands’ Crush Division. The action takes place Thursday, July 18, at 7:00pm.

You’d be hard pressed to find two better recognized names in the St. Louis wine scene than Linda McGovern and Glenn Bardgett, and so it will come as no surprise that they’ve crossed paths before. In fact, the two have been friends for almost 30 years. They first met when Linda was a customer at Glenn’s wine shop on Page. That store eventually sold to Brown Derby where Bardgett continued to work. When he made the move to Annie Gunn’s, it was McGovern who replaced him. Now a wine rep for Major Brands, Linda calls on Annie Gunn’s regularly to promote wines from her Crush portfolio. Without question, the two share a mutual respect. And so it will be a rare treat, perhaps even a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to see them set all of this history aside, smear on the war paint, and attempt to brutalize each other in three rounds of competitive wine pairing.

Guests at the event will enjoy three courses and six wines while cozily enveloped in Copia’s gorgeous (and well air-conditioned) wine garden. The Somms, on the other hand, will be feeling the heat as they struggle to pair wines with the Showdown’s most challenging menu to date.

While our seasoned wine pros enjoy top billing, it may well be Copia’s Chef Zack Fiordimondo who wins the day. Round one will showcase an igredient as loathed by sommeliers as it is by the average third grader, Brussels sprouts! Here they’ll be sauteed and accompanied by mixed greens and a bacon Vidalia dressing. For round two, Fiordimondo will let up on the gas only slightly as he offers up a blue cheese and portabella yukon gold potato cake topped with smoked pork and an apple cider glaze. In keeping with a summertime grilling theme, the third and final round will feature smoked brisket, garlic crostini, and a barbecue vinaigrette. That’s right, barbecue vinaigrette at a wine pairing competition. It’s really just sadistic at this point.

As always, the ticket price will be a mere thirty-five dollars for three courses, six wines, a show, and gratuitous tequila. Copia can be reached at 314-241-9463 for reservations. We’ll see you there.

Somm Showdown IV