Ever wish you could spend a night mingling with some of the best sommeliers in the city? Well, now is your chance. On Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m., Spiaggia sommelier Jason Carlen is teaming up with master sommelier Alpana Singh (Boarding House) and 10 other somms for the first-ever Spiaggia Sommelier Smackdown.
The roster of sommeliers is pretty robust and includes: Chad Ellegood (NoMI Kitchen), Arthur Hon (Sepia), Shebnem Ince ( Henri, The Gage), Rachael Lowe, Tona Palomino (Trenchermen), Dan Pilkey (Hilton Worldwide, Chicago Hotels) Jeremy Quinn (Telegraph), Aaron Sherman (Girl and the Goat), Jean Tomaro (Gilt Bar, Maude's Liquor Bar) and Jason Wagner (Nellcote, RM Champagne Salon).
The night starts with a reception, followed by the main event: a five-course meal where two sommeliers will go head-to-head during each course to see who chooses the best pairing for that dish. The sommeliers must follow the theme of Old World vs. New World wines. Guests will then vote on their favorite pairings and the winner from each round will be recognized as the smackdown champ.
Tickets are $195 per person and $50 of the ticket price will go to support the Cancer Research Foundation in memory of Henry Bishop, the first sommelier of Spiaggia, who passed away in 2009 and was a mentor to many of the city's young sommeliers. To reserve call 312-280-2750 or email Carlen.
Jason Carlen [Photo: Huge Galdones]/Alpana Singh