Learn about wine: Yes, anyone can do it

No, learning about wine does not have to be rocket scienceOne of the most common complaints I hear from people who don't drink much wine is that it's too intimidating. "How am I ever going to learn about wine?" they ask.

The answer, of course, is to drink wine, and to drink enough of it and to drink enough different kinds so that you learn along the way. This usually gets a laugh, but too many people don't see this approach as a practical solution. "It can't be that simple," they say.

But it is. Really. One is not born to wine, anointed from on high. Everyone learns one glass at a time — and I have examples from the big-name guests we're interviewing this year at the Texas Wine Garden at the State Fair of Texas. More, after the jump:


My story is reasonably well known. I was a sportswriter who drank beer when I started doing this. The other Wine Guy, John Bratcher, was an actor whose brother-in-law won a liquor store in a poker game and asked John to work there. Most of our guests have similar stories, without a snooty, I'm better than you attitude among them:

? Chesley Sanders, one of the first retailers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to sell Texas wine, is a Fort Worth firefighter.

? Benny Barrett of Fall Creek, a leading Texas winery, is a former Marine and an ex-Dallas cop.

? James Tidwell, the sommelier at the Four Seasons, grew up in a dry area in north Louisiana.

? Hunter Hammett, the sommelier at the Fairmont, was a 20-year-old college student studying in Italy when he had his first real sip of wine.

? Nadia Hetzel, the winemaker at Haak Vineyards in Santa Fe, Texas, was an Army brat in Germany.

? Alphonse Dotson, who owns Texas' Certenberg Vineyards, was a defensive lineman for the NFL's Oakland Raiders.

Trust me. If we can do it, anyone can.

One thought on “Learn about wine: Yes, anyone can do it

  • By Annb18788 - Reply

    The one I really like is the fact that Les Constable was a nuclear engineer on a sub in the Navy (Dad was in & so is my niece)…
    There???s also Tiberia of Barking Rocks, who is semi-retired from a large public utilities company; Dr. Pat Brennan, a nephrologist (I believe); Bill & SuLynn Bledsoe (she???s retired, not sure if he is), both bankers; Gary McKibben, an architect; and the newest member of the Way Out Wineries Road Trip crew (though not officially) and the newest winery ??? that I???m aware of, they opened yesterday – Fiesta Winery in Bend. The family has been in the quarry business & raising cattle.

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