James Tidwell


TexSom – the Texas Sommelier Conference – occurs once a year in August at the Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas, TX.  Before I go any further, I had the luxury of spending the night there, this place is ga-ga in a great way!  The rooms, the pool, the spa, the golf course – “par” excellence.  I digress.

TexSom was founded by several outstanding Master Sommeliers – James Tidwell, Drew Hendricks, and Guy Stout (3 out of the total of 6 Master Somm’s in Texas).  Two of the six were just indoctrinated this year:   Devon Broglie, the Specialty Coordinator for the Southwest Region of Whole Foods Market and Craig Collins, Regional Manager for Glazer’s Distributors.   All of them are as sweet and approachable than you can possibly imagine, and more than willing to help you in any way they can; and boy, can they put on a show!  How grateful I am that I live in Dallas and can attend, because, baby, I will be there every year – it is a can’t miss experience.  Two of the days are open to the public; although, you will find yourself amidst some of the finest sommeliers in Texas and the country – just be sure to spit and not swallow!

Day 1 – Media and Technology Symposium

I had the opportunity to attend the first 2 days (out of 3).  The first day was not about tasting (quelle domage), but for me, just as good – social media for the wine industry!  The day was from 9 – 4-ish; all the speakers and topics were dead on.  The first 3 hours were spent with Tony Jones – FaceBook, Twitter, you name it.  We broke for lunch, and I headed straight over to Sonny Bryan’s – some of the best barbeque in Texas.  I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and potato salad with tons of barbeque sauce.

The next session was all about wine blogging with Jeremy Parzen and Alfonso  Cevola.  These two have been blogging about the wine industry for longer than there was a name for it.  They are true lovers of wine.  They blog for the pure enjoyment of sharing their experiences with the rest of us.

Because of Alfonso & Jeremy speaking that afternoon about the passion for wine blogging, their presentation empowered me to continue writing A to Zinfandel even though no one may be listening, but as Alfonso said “If you don’t say anything, you’ll never be heard”.  My blog is a journal of my life, my wine experiences, my wine journey, my passion!  My blog is my CV.  This is not the first time I have heard this.  When Gary VEE was here in Big DEE, he said that resumes should no longer exist.  Everything you are and can be should be online.  What a paradigm shift!

The last session consisted of a panel of key personnel of some of the finest traditional media sources in Dallas, which rounded out our day.

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Just have to plug this post in very quickly as TEXSOM is this weekend, held in Las Colinas, TX.

I am studying for my CSW and thrilled to be attending & volunteering my time at TEXSOM.  It is mostly about my trials, tribulations, self-renewal, and journey through the intricate details of the wine world.  I run a business, A to Zinfandel Social Media, site being retrofitted at this time (isn’t that always!).  I am the social media strategist and work with the wine, food, and tourism industries.

I also work with a culinary tour operator promoting their tours…one of which we are very excited about:  The Extraordinary Women of Spain:  Winemakers and Chefs.

See y’all this weekend!