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Profiles,Wine,Wine Education,Wine Writer

The Academics of Wine ~ It’s Not About “What,” It’s About “Who” ~ Robert Stahr Hosmon, Ph.D.

In my career as a wine publicist, I’m a link between a winery and the wine writing community. What I’ve learned in this “getting to know you” process is that many Ph.D.s enjoy writing about wine as much as they enjoy their day jobs.

Perhaps it’s because they’re already in the groove with having learned more than the average person regarding their given field, and that’s the way they operate; i.e., always digging deeper?

Perhaps it’s because they already know that life is a constant, evolving learning process , similar to wine?

And, it could be that they love learning so much that it’s just natural for them to want to pass along their particular passion?

I’m thinking it’s all this and more, and only something that they could possibly explain to you… And so, I’ve queried a few of my favorite professors, and was going to blog one long story.

Today, however – in the midst of Mother’s Day Week – one of the Ph.D.s I know just said something that’s so inspiring during this time, that I asked permission to launch this “Wine Academics” early; so you, too, could learn “why” about the “who” in the process of Wine Academics.

Dr. Robert Stahr Hosman, who holds a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University, is a former executive assistant to the Florida Secretary of State, chairman of the English Department at the University of Miami, and Dean of Development and Public Affairs at Miami-Dade Community College. Bob is also an internationally syndicated columnist with a home base at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; a senior editor at The Wine News magazine, and a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. The following is our Q & A process:

Q: What is your academic area of expertise?

A: My Ph.D. is in British literature (the Victorian Age); and while I served as chair of the English Department at the University of Miami, for the past 17 years I have been a Vice Dean in the School of Communication, where I teach public relations.

Q: What about your academic life most intrigues you?

A: Making a difference on the lives of so many young people—and seeing them succeed in fulfilling their ambitions and dreams.

Q: When did you start, and what prompted you, to start writing about wine?

A: I began writing the wine column for the Miami Herald in 1977, motivated by a personal interest in teaching others about what I saw as one of the better things in life.

Q: What aspect(s) of wine do you most enjoy covering?

A: Discovering new wines, new varietals, and new bargains.

Q: Do you also teach wine classes?

A: No

Q: What’s your most memorable wine or wine tasting experience?

A: Tasting a 1961 Latricieres Chambertin from Remoissenet in 1975. It was the first time I truly understood the expression: “like liquid velvet.”

Q. Do you have a favorite variety? If “yes,” which one?

A: No

Q: What’s your favorite wine region in the world?

A: No one favorite

Q: Do you believe that there are better quality, lower priced wines today, than in past vintages?

A: Absolutely!

Q: What’s your favorite innovation in the past few years?

A: The application of screw caps to bottles of good wine.

Q: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?

A: A Grand Marnier soufflé with a glass of Chateau d’Yquem.

Q: Who inspires you (wine business or outside of it, it doesn’t matter)?

A: My late mother was my inspiration. She encouraged me to never be hesitant in doing what I wanted to do and let me know that, should I fail, she would help me pick up the pieces.

Isn’t it lovely to know post-Mother’s Day that the thought still lingers in the best of us?

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