At the heart of all Cochon555 events lies a culinary competition of five local chefs each presenting one whole, heritage breed pig to promote local family farming. Running in tandem for two years, is Cochon555’s “Somm Smackdown” competition featuring 50 of the nation’s top sommeliers each challenged with pairing the best wines from around the globe to the dishes prepared by the competing chefs. A panel of 24 celebrity judges select a winner.
We are thrilled to be joined by five incredible Somms for our first event in the Big D. They are competing for the best wine of the day, as well as a spot in our national finale, Grand Cochon, taking place in Chicago on September 30 for our ten year anniversary party.
Here are the participating Somms, their affiliations, and the wine they’re bringing to the competition:
EMILY TOLBERT – Del Frisco’s (Houston) – Peique, 2012 Mencia – Bierzo, Spain
JULIA DIXON – ArtPro Wines (Austin) – Lunaria Orsogna, 2016 “Ramoro” Pinot Grigio Terre Chieti – Abruzzo, Italy
COURTNEY KEELING – Grailey’s (Dallas) – Benanti, 2015 Etna Rosso – Sicily, Italy
CAMERIN CRONIN – Sachet (Dallas) – Envínate, 2016 “Albahra” Garnacha Tintorera – Ribeira Sacra, Spain
ALI SCHMIDT – Emmer & Rye (Austin) – Mas de Daumas, NV Gassac Rose Frizant – Languedoc, France

Want to learn more about Somm Smackdown, food and wine pairings, or why Somms love what they do so much? Check out our playlist on YouTube featuring some of the best Somms in the country:
  • EP00 – Trailer
  • EP01 – Romance
  • EP02 – Passion
  • EP03 – Pigs
  • EP04 – Pairing 
  • EP05 – Reflections
  • EP06 – Palettes

You can also find the winning pairings from every Somm Smackdown Competition here.