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Top Houston Sommelier Toasts Biodynamic Wines at Free UH Wine Tasting

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November 17, 2008-Houston-
'Ancient Methods, New Possibilities' Part of Fifth Annual Fred Parks Lecture Series
 
A great wine can transport you, whether to the Loire Valley in France or the scenic hills of Tuscany. And biodynamic wines go further, putting you in touch with the natural rhythms and flavors that make a place unique.


On Dec. 1, one of Houston’s premier wine experts will take you on a guided tour of the wine-producing regions of the world, without leaving the comfort of the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Antonio Gianola, award-winning sommelier and managing partner (as well as head of the wine program) at the nationally acclaimed Catalan Food & Wine restaurant on Washington Avenue in the Houston Heights, will be the featured presenter at the Fifth annual Fred Parks Lecture Series. The series is underwritten by the Fred and Mabel B. Parks Foundation.


The lecture, titled “Ancient Methods, New Possibilities: Why the world’s top winemakers are embracing BIODYNAMIC wines,” will answer the obvious question – what exactly is biodynamic wine? – but it will also show how biodynamic viniculture and viticulture can profoundly impact the flavor and character of wine, with eye-opening results. It will also include a free wine tasting featuring some of the finest biodynamic wines in the world.


The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Conrad Hilton Ballroom, and it will end at about 8:30 p.m. All guests must be at least 21 years old, and seating is limited. RSVP online at www.hrm.uh.edu/rsvp. For more information, contact Kevin Simon, director of the Fred Parks Wine Cellar, at 713-743-2459 or ksimon@uh.edu.


“The event is an extension of Fred’s passion for wine and wine education, and is just one of the ways that we are working to uphold Fred’s legacy to bring wine to the masses,” Simon said. “We are very excited to have someone of Antonio’s expertise and experience as our speaker this year.”


Gianola began his love affair with wine at the Sierra Grill, where he was in charge of the wine program. He has since moved on to become a sommelier at some of Houston’s finest restaurants, including Rainbow Lodge and Da Marco Cucino e Vino. Gianola has developed a magic touch, as each of his wine programs soon found themselves the winner of numerous awards. He has earned consecutive “Award of Excellence” honors from Wine Spectator magazine, and in 2005 he was named “Best Sommelier” by The Houston Press.


In addition to his work at restaurants, Gianola has travelled the world to visit some of the most prestigious vineyards, meeting with master winemakers and grape growers, and gaining an appreciation of the local atmosphere and color. With biodynamic wines, Gianola has found a subject that appeals to both his refined palette and his holistic approach to wine. Above all, he has found some excellent wines, and winemakers throughout the world are catching on.


Come see for yourself what Gianola, and many of the world’s top winemakers and sommeliers, have discovered!


About Fred Parks

Throughout his illustrious career as a trial lawyer, Fred Parks collected fine and rare French wines. In 1994, he donated a portion of his collection to the Hilton College. This collection became the foundation of the Fred Parks Wine Cellar and features over 1,000 bottles from the early 1900s to contemporary vintages. Parks died on October 18, 2001, at the age of 95. At his bequest, his estate donated the remainder of his collection to the Hilton College. Today the new Fred Park Boardroom showcases his remarkable collection and pairs his passions for wine and education. The Boardroom serves as an international repository for research, education and training in the study of wine.


For more information about the Fred Parks Wine Cellar, visit www.hrm.uh.edu/cnhc/ShowContent.asp?c=5898


For more information on the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, visit www.hrm.uh.edu.
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