Kerne and Ortmann Kick Glass at Randall's Sommelier Showdown [PHOTOS]

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For local oenophiles, the third installment of Randall's Wines & Spirits Sommelier Showdown at Cielo in the Four Seasons promised to be a slugfest. In one corner stood Brandon Kerne, one of the skilled sommeliers at twin eateries Elaia and Olio in Tower Grove. Opposite him was Angela Ortmann, better known as STL Winegirl, an independent sommelier, consultant and blogger.

The rules were simple: Pair wines with three courses. Whoever gets the biggest crowd reaction wins the course.

Wine heavyweights Brandon Kerne (far left) and Angela Ortmann await the crowd's decision. | Evan C. Jones
  • Wine heavyweights Brandon Kerne (far left) and Angela Ortmann await the crowd's decision. | Evan C. Jones

As in any worthwhile fight, verbal punches were thrown. Kerne casually told the crowd why he'd beat Ortmann, and slipped in the Italian slang "jabroni" in reference to STL Winegirl.

See also: - RFT reviews Elaia and Olio

The first wine of the evening: Ortmann's Schlumberger pinot blanc "Les Princes Abbes" 2009 | Evan C. Jones
  • The first wine of the evening: Ortmann's Schlumberger pinot blanc "Les Princes Abbes" 2009 | Evan C. Jones

"Didn't you call me that on Twitter two weeks ago?" she retorted. "I just thought you'd have something new to say by now."

Between courses, Ortmann and Kerne made the rounds to talk with diners about the wine pairings they'd selected.

"Remember, it's not about what wine you like, it's about the pairing," Ortmann noted as she joined Gut Check's table for a chat.

After three rounds, the emcee gauged the crowd's reaction to the pairings for the evening.

Kerne received a rousing roar, full of housemade signs from friends and family. Ortmann got a loud ovation for her night's work, but a judge's call tipped the contest to Kerne, who celebrated his victory by quaffing wine from his trophy.

More photos of the event follow on the next page.

The event's wines. | Evan C. Jones
  • The event's wines. | Evan C. Jones
First course. | Evan C. Jones
  • First course. | Evan C. Jones

First course Bagnet russ, goat cheese, Carta da Musica, mixed greens, lemon vinaigerette Kerne: Iron Horse Russian Cuvée 2008 Ortmann: Schlumberger pinot blanc "Les Princes Abbes" 2009 Crowd favorite: Ortmann Gut Check's favorite: Kerne

Second course. | Evan C. Jones
  • Second course. | Evan C. Jones

Second course Asparagus risotto, chamomile essence, baby shrimp Kerne: Trimbach pinot gris Reserve 2007 Ortmann: Perrin Côtes du Rhône Reserve Blanc 2012 Crowd favorite: Kerne Gut Check favorite: Kerne

STL Winegirl Angela Ortmann makes her case for her wine pairing. | Evan C. Jones
  • STL Winegirl Angela Ortmann makes her case for her wine pairing. | Evan C. Jones
Third course | Evan C. Jones
  • Third course | Evan C. Jones

Third course Pork medallion, Sicilian couscous, marsala sauce Kerne: Tinto Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2009 Ortmann: Pio Cesare Dolcetto D' Alba 2011 Crowd favorite: Kerne Gut Check favorite: Ortmann

Kerne tastes victory from his trophy. | Evan C. Jones
  • Kerne tastes victory from his trophy. | Evan C. Jones

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