Mark Oldman is one of the country’s leading wine personalities and author of the bestselling Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine (W.W. Norton), among other books. He is lead judge in the PBS television series “The Winemakers” and is a regular on Martha Stewart Radio’s “Living Today” program on Sirius Satellite Radio. He also lectures at the country’s top gastronomic festivals, including the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, the South Beach Food Network Wine & Food Festival, and the upcoming Boston Wine Expo—an event we’re psyched about here at Eventbrite. Mark graciously agreed to speak to us about the Expo and his thoughts on wine.
Can you start by telling us a bit more about your background in the wine world?
I’ve been teaching and writing about wine since the early 1990s. My new book is Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine (W.W. Norton) and in it I build a bridge of knowledge from the insiders to everyone else, revealing the wines that so electrify me and my fellow wine pros—opening the curtain on what I call the “Brave New Pours.” The Wall Street Journal recently called it the “perfect book for someone who’s just caught the bug, or would like to.”
My signature style was best summed up by Bon Appétit magazine: “winespeak without the geek.” I’m passionate about helping wine enthusiasts jostle the jaded and slay the snooty.
In your mind, what sets the Expo apart from other wine events?
The Boston Wine Expo is the largest consumer wine trade show, so the array of wineries and speakers under one roof is outstanding. Teaching seminars along with me will be Ray Isle, the Executive Wine Editor of Food & Wine, who is a top wine mind. So is Leslie Sbrocco, whose Thirsty Girl group has blossomed into a full-fledged movement for wine-curious women.
Your seminar is titled “Drink Bravely.” What will you be discussing? What’s “brave drinking” all about?
“Drink Bravely” is my cri de coeur encouraging the exploration beyond wine’s usual suspects. Pleasure, value, and adventure happens when you move beyond the same old wines and try slightly less familiar types like Torrontes from Argentina and Priorat from Spain. The goal is to get people to drink like an insider without having to be one—or spend a lot of money.
For the aficionados out there: What are some of the wineries you’re most excited to see featured at the event?
There is just a treasure trove of wineries coming—suffice it to say that your palate will receive a broad and deep education at the Expo.
A wine event often walks a fine line between appealing to connoisseurs and less experienced drinkers. What do you think this event can also offer to newer oenophiles?
Newer oenophiles will greatly expand their vinous options with exposure to new grapes, regions, and producers. My seminar, and the Expo overall, are designed to help enthusiasts fall in love with new types and experience the thrill of discovery that so animates connoisseurs.