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Press Release

The World’s Foremost Wine Experts Showcase Talents at MSU Denver’s Hospitality Learning Center Sept. 15


Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Leslie McKay, Office 303-352-7385, Cell 303-887-2299

Posted: August 29, 2013


Metropolitan State University of Denver is hosting ‘An Evening with the “Masters”,’ featuring a screening of the film SOMM, an insider’s look at the prestigious Master Sommelier examination.  With a 90 percent failure rate, there are fewer than 200 people who have been crowned as a Master Sommelier in the last 40 years. The art, science and mystery of the Master Sommelier examination continues to fascinate and challenge true food and wine connoisseurs. Come mingle with eight of the world’s foremost wine experts contributing to MSU Denver’s evening of sensory celebration and entertainment. For further information and tickets, visit


Sunday, September 15, 2013 at the SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver

(1190 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204)


Wine and Silent Auction Reception (Tickets $100)

5:30 - 7 p.m.

Featuring food and wine pairings selected by Colorado Master Sommeliers prepared by executive chefs from Denver Five.


SOMM - Film viewing

7:15 p.m.

Two Exclusive Wine Pairing Dinners (Tickets $225)

5 – 7 p.m.

Features a four-course dinner with perfectly matched wine pairings prepared by:


  • Executive Chef Kevin Taylor (Restaurant Kevin Taylor) and his son Ryan Taylor, MSU Denver Hospitality, Tourism and Events student, and Jay Fletcher, MS, (Southern Wine and Spirits);


  • Executive Chef Jim Butchart (Aspen Skiing Co.), Sabato Sagaria, MS and Carlton McCoy, MS, (The Little Nell at Aspen)


Two Guided Wine Tastings (Tickets $125)

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.

Features guided wine tasting with either:

  • Bobby Stuckey, MS, (co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine)
  • Brandon Tebbe, MS, (Synergy Fine Wines)



Distinguished guests include:

  • Jason Wise, SOMM Documentary Director;
  • Shayn Bjornholm, MS, (Examination Director; Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas); Bobby Stuckey, MS, (Frasca); Brandon Tebbe, MS, (Krug Cup winner); Sabato Sagaria, MS and Carlton McCoy, MS, (Little Nell); Jay Fletcher, MS; Wayne Belding, MS; Sean Razee, MS; Madeline Triffon, MS, (First North American women to pass Master Sommelier exam, from Detroit).
  • Executive Chefs Aaron Whitcomb (Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro), Kurt Boucher (Satchel's on 6th), Jeff Osaka (twelverestaurant), Pepe Aparicio (Taita Peruvian Cuisine & Bar) and Wine Rocks LLC and Republic National Distributing Company will also be on hand to present the wine and food pairings.


Proceeds from the event benefit MSU Denver’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events Department and the Hospitality Learning Center, where students are prepared for Colorado’s growing hospitality industry. MSU Denver’s program presents opportunity for students to regularly shadow experts as part of their education. Colorado’s emerging wine industry is creating career opportunities for students by connecting them with leading experts to demonstrate both management acumen and knowledge of conditions needed to craft award-winning wines.



About MSU Denver – Hospitality, Tourism and Events Department/ Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center

Located in downtown Denver – a global destination city – Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (HTE) is uniquely positioned in the heart of Denver’s hospitality industry to educate students to become Colorado’s future hoteliers, restaurateurs, tourism executives and meeting and event planners. The HTE Department offers relevant knowledge and experience in a new $45 million Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center – a combined SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel and hands-on learning laboratory/academic building. MSU Denver is one of only 11 universities in the country that has a teaching hotel on its campus.


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is the leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The University currently has 23,000 students and offers 55 majors and master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 73,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.


About the Court of Master Sommeliers

The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 134 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 115 are men and 19 are women. There are 211 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit