Humble Beginnings

I just received the May 31st issue of Sommelier Journal, and there’s an interview by Catherine Fallis, MS, with Terry Theise. I’m reading his book, Reading Between the Wines, so of course it was the first thing I flipped to! Here’s what he says about how he got started with wine:

In your book, you attribute your interest in wine to Hugh Johnson and Rod Stewart. How did a rock star get you interested in wine?

“Rod had to have a case of either Blue Nun or Mateus Rosé on hand for every gig, and he always did that thing of handing a bottle down to the front row. I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I had a front-row ticket for his concert. Wine had never been a part of my family’s life that I knew of; I’d never had it before. But I was a guitar player in a band; in my feckless, misspent youth, I had goals of becoming a musician. So you’re trying to fit into a pack, and you’re very sensitive to the norms and rules of the tribe. You want to be accepted, so you learn to like, or pretend to like, the things the tribe likes. I had this notion that I needed to like wine, because there was Rod Stewart dealing with it, and there were all these blues songs—The Electric Flag had a song called “Wine”—and a hippie culture in which people were getting stoned and passing bottles around. So I just thought, “That is something I need to bring into my world.” If you go back to the first little division of cells that ultimately give birth to a wine lover, that’s what it was—such humble beginnings.”

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