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Sommelier Smackdown » the strong buzz, by andrea strong
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the buzz

“Sommelier Smackdown ”

Chefs always get all the attention — their own TV shows, cookbooks, interviews. Now it's time for the wine geeks to get some love. And if you’re an enthusiastic oenophile, you wont want to miss the “Sommelier Smackdown” at the newly opened NIOS Restaurant and Wine Bar in Times Square. 

Beginning Tuesday, June 23, Emily Wines (she must’ve been born for this job), the restaurant’s master sommelier, will challenge fellow sommeliers, mixologists and bartenders to a battle of pairings. Who's the judge? That would be you.

Emily's first opponent is Laura Maniec, also a master sommelier (the youngest active one in the world), of B.R. Guest (Blue Water Grill, Dos Caminos, Ocean Grill, Vento). As judge and jury, you'll sample the duel drink matches side-by-side and be served a three-course dinner prepared by Chef Patricia Williams. The winner will be chosen at the end of the evening by popular vote and receives a championship-style wrestling belt along with bragging rights.

The Smackdown contestants facing off with Emily Wines include Jim Meehan (of speakeasy PDT), Sebbie Buhler (beer expert), Jacques Bezuidenhout (mixologist at Harry Denton’s The Starlight Room in San Francisco) and Joe Campanale (owner and beverage director of dell’anima and L’Artusi).


Reservations are $55 person and can be made by calling the restaurant.NIOS Restaurant and Wine Bar is located at 136 W. 46th St. (between 6th and 7th avenues), 212-485-2999, www.niosrestaurant.com

— Bao Ong

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