Only in San Francisco….Why a baseball team brought a master sommelier on board

Only in San Francisco….Why a baseball team brought a master sommelier on board

Evan Goldstein holds a unique role with the San Francisco Giants: He's the very first master sommelier in professional sports, working to make sure the wines for sale at the team's Oracle Park stadium pair perfectly with the hot dogs and other snacks for sale. 

Goldstein, 62, started this role last season. Goldstein grew up in the San Francisco area and is a lifelong fan of the team. He loved wine from an early age, and his first job was running the wine program at his mother's restaurant, Square One. At 26 years old, Goldstein achieved master sommelier status. At the time, he was the youngest to ever be awarded that standing.

"It's wine country," Goldstein said. "Not only does that mean that you sort of had this DNA birthright to it, but it also means that our fan base here comes from those places." 

The team has been selling wine at the stadium since 1977, and by hiring a master sommelier, they're raising the bar to bring the best possible flavors to their fans. Goldstein sources all of the wines from the nearby area, since Oracle Park is smack in the middle of wine country, with plenty of options available.

"It was a really fun thing, right?" said the team's chief executive officer Larry Baer. "The buzz around the park is 'Sommelier and baseball?' … We'd rather have good wine than mediocre wine. We'd rather have somebody who has been around a wine country for a whole career to help us select the wines." 
Evan Goldstein pairs wines with classic stadium foods for Dana Jacobson.

Goldstein said that it's been important to source a variety of wines and appeal to a wide range of tastes. He wants the wine he serves to be for everybody. "That to me was mission critical," he said. " There are delicious wines at $400 a bottle. There are delicious wines at $10 a bottle. And we want to make sure that people have access to that, because at the end of the day, if you like it and it makes you happy, that's all that matters." 

His method is working for most of the fans CBS News spoke to. 

"(I'm) meeting a friend, he's not here yet," said Debra Bogaards, one fan. "If he was here, we would have two beers, but since I got to buy it myself … I can't resist a good glass of wine."
Fans taste wine at Oracle Park.

Natasha Singh said she ordered a bottle of Alto Malbec ahead of the game she watched "because why not?" 

Some fans are still purists, preferring beers to wine, but Goldstein relishes the chance of reaching the skeptics.

"At the end of the season, if I can get them to stop for a moment and think about it, and maybe next time they'll try it, or maybe they'll try it again, we've done our job," he said.

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