Last week I gave that shameless plug for Texas Wine Lover, hoping to better explain how things have evolved within our website. And I promised details on other avenues for discovering the wines of Texas. Today I want to dig into a known source – This is Texas Wine. The free podcast available on all the usual podcast spots and at https://www.thisistexaswine.com.
Each episode begins with an overview of what’s in the news for the Texas wine industry. The second half of each episode is an interview that gives you a true insight into the industry. I’m not talking about a simple chat with a winemaker about how they got into wine. These interviews dig deeper into what’s really happening in Texas wine. It may be Master Sommelier James Tidwell talking about how to get more Texas wines on the menus of local restaurants or a chat with the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association President Glena Yates about what the organization has planned for the legislative session. No matter the interview, these are honest discussions about important topics.
Shelly Wilfong had a career in healthcare industry consulting and did corporate relations and development work for a major healthcare industry non-profit until she stepped back when her kids were little. She then worked as a professional, unpaid volunteer (she says with a smirk). During this time, she started down the path of wine certifications because she had become obsessed with understanding wine. She had visited a few Texas wineries, but in 2017, she began writing for Texas Wine Lover, naturally leading her to more wineries around the state.
Shelly had a (non-Texas) wine media project that would have launched in 2020, but the pandemic shutdown changed things for many of us. She became frustrated with pitching articles to various publications and not getting a response. So Shelly shifted gears and dreamed up the podcast This is Texas Wine. She started in June 2020 and has 59 episodes to date. Texans are proud people, and our wineries enjoy a strong “fan base.” These fans seemed hungry for more content about Texas wines and wineries. And she genuinely enjoys discovering the stories of the people behind the wines. So, the podcast came together relatively easily.
Today, Shelly tells me that many of her regular listeners are in the Texas wine industry. I think that’s quite important. There needs to be a reliable source for the news and happenings of our industry, and Shelly provides this.
Shelly continues to be surprised by who she is impacting. Some listeners are in the industry in another state. Or they are considering moving to Texas to take a job with a local winery. Shelly was proud to share, “One of my biggest fans moved here from out of state and now has an important role at a major Texas winery. Before accepting the job offer, he wanted to research the winery and the Texas wine industry as a whole. He used the podcast to confirm that Texas is a great place to work, and his winery is legit.” And we’re actually talking global exposure for Texas. Recently a listener reached out from Sweden. He’s writing a research paper about the Texas wine industry but hasn’t tasted a single wine from Texas. It would be great to send him some Texas wines, but this is harder than you’d think. If you know anyone visiting Sweden, we should talk!
Many new wineries listen, as well as folks who are considering opening a winery or planting a vineyard. Humbly, Shelly tells me, “I love that the podcast has become a resource for the industry.” And it truly has. At last year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in New York, Shelly gave a presentation and led a tasting for fellow judges. These are wine professionals and many had never tasted a Texas wine or hadn’t tasted one in many years. What great exposure for our state, possible only because Shelly puts herself out there in her podcast.
And putting herself out there is part of what makes this particular podcast different from many. Not just acting as a cheerleader for Texas wines, she’s asking the hard questions and sharing her personal opinions on topics that might be seen as delicate.
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Listen and subscribe – This is Texas Wine is available on all podcast players, including Google, Apple, Spotify, Audible, and more
- If you love it, leave her a review because this helps the podcast to be seen by more people
- Subscribe to the newsletter on her website ThisIsTexasWine.com
- Follow along on social media @TexasWinePod
- Share the podcast on social media to help other wine lovers discover more about Texas wines
- Give Shelly your feedback by emailing TexasWinePod@gmail.com. She’d love to hear what you think of a particular episode or receive suggestions for who to interview in the future
- Advertisements are available on the episodes, so if you have a business that will benefit from being in front of Texas wine industry professionals and consumers, give her a shout. Prices are surprisingly affordable. Sommly.com has been her longest-running sponsor, and Bending Branch custom crush services is her newest.
Shelly produces about 20 episodes in a year, and while there are no plans to grow the podcast, she will always keep the news and interviews relevant. If you haven’t checked it out, give it a listen. And Texas Wine Lover will continue to give you a heads up when a new episode of This is Texas Wine is about to launch.
Great article. Subscribing now.
Neal Addy says
Great profile and great podcast!