Ep. 274: Tony Zezas – Renaissance Man

Tony Zezas can converse with you on any subject for, I imagine, any length of time. He’s got incredible wit, insight, and charm. He’s one passed test away from earning his Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma in Wines. He’s helped launch James Beard recognized restaurants. He’s traveled all over and accumulated knowledge and experience at an incredible clip.

On this week’s show, we cover a portion of that journey, which includes stops in Oregon, Maine, and, notably, the parking lot of a Safeway in Albuquerque, NM, where he sold Pad Thai out of the back of his Jeep Grand Cherokee to earn money to return to Denver. We spend the lion’s share of the time discussing wine, as well as how he approaches a blind tasting you’d find in a wine certification test. It’s fascinating insight, and explained more comprehensively than anywhere I’ve ever read or heard. We also spend a great deal of time talking about wine and beer culture, chat about the cultural impact of the movie Sideways, and share a few laughs over a couple glasses of wine. It’s delightful!

It’s a high note on which we end the year (I have one more episode in 2020 planned), and a time where I notably feel overmatched as a host. I mean that as the highest compliment.

Tony deigned to provide any personal plugs, instead opting to encourage you to buy a nicer bottle of wine for yourself than you might otherwise since we’re not getting together for the holidays, and not to think of wine as the exclusive province of special occasions. Enjoy yourself, dammit! I know 2020 seems intent on making that impossible, but it isn’t.

Download the show on iTunes, stream it on Stitcher, or listen at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

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