Going Legit: Pursuing Sommelier Training

I decided it’s time to take my wine interest seriously – I’m officially starting my journey to become a Certified Sommelier.

I’ll sit for the WSET Level 1 Wine Award Exam in July, and plan to continue through WSET Level 2 immediately following. If all goes well, I aim to sit for the Court of Master Sommelier’s “Introductory Sommelier” exam by year-end. I want to challenge myself to eventually achieve the “Certified Sommelier” distinction (which involves a combination of wine theory writing, wine service, and blind tasting).

It’s About Mastery, Not Credentials

It’s weird for me to write about pursuing credentials. Especially considering I make a living running a business that helps people succeed without college.

But there’s some important nuance to the pursuit of these credentials.

First, it’s not about achieving a rubber stamp – it’s about pursuit of mastery. I marvel at the intricacy and complexity of wine. It’s honestly baffling the sheer amount of information on wine today.

That complexity scares people away. Even people (like me) who fancy themselves a somewhat informed novice.

I want to overcome wine’s intimidation factor. Not only so I can enjoy and appreciate it more. But also so I can improve my ability to share wine with other people.

After all, that’s what it’s all about – bringing people together.

Wine has a special characteristic about it that naturally lends itself to fellowship – maybe its timelessness, its heritage, or its culture. But complexity can be divisive.

I want to master wine so I can help other people experience it the same way I do – as a source of joy, appreciation, gratitude, as something that’s best shared with others.

Seeking Knowledge

There is so much about the world of wine I don’t (and will never) know. It would be impossible to learn on my own. So I’m seeking out the best experts. I’m approaching this as a new apprenticeship.

I am a novice thirsty for knowledge.

I plan to immerse myself in the world of wine and Wine Masters with the goal of enhancing my own understanding.

My goal is to put myself in proximity to the people who already know this inside and out. You don’t need credentials to be an expert. But many experts in the world of wine hold them, nonetheless.

Pursuing credentials means taking my interest seriously enough to humble myself to the expertise of others. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to master this interest. Because it’s something I’m deeply curious about.

Reaching a point of knowledge that I’ve confidently mastered wine is my real goal.

End Game

I have more ideas than I care to share about my long-term goals for wine. At least yet.

Eventually I’ll share more about my plans for wine as more than an interest. But it’s a ways off. Right now my top focus is pursuing my own education and mastery of a complex subject.

I plan to document parts of my journey here and through Instagram @EnidWineGuy.

After all, this is all about bringing people together and reducing the intimidation factor of wine. So feel free to follow along if you’re interest in learning together.

It’s going to be a fun journey. And yes, I’m sure we’ll toast a few incredible wines along the way.

Cheers, friends.


11 of My Go-To Wine Picks Available in Enid, OK

What’s up friends? Enid Wine Guy here. Ready to hit you with a few of my “Go-To” wines available locally. You can find quite a few great value wines if you know what to look for. I’ll sneak in a few tips to help you below.

Enough verbal decanting 😉 let’s get to the wines.

Champagnes & Bubbly

schramsberg blance de noirs

Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $47

ABV: 12.8%

This has quickly become one of my favorite bubblies. It offers great value for the price (only $47), and drinks like a much more expensive champagne. This baby was grown right here in these United States (is California still part of the US?) so you can’t call it “champagne” because it makes the French madder than a wet hen. Trust me, you don’t need an excuse to uncork this lovely sparkler. But I would recommend tossing it in the refrigerator for 40-45 minutes before you pop bottles (~45 degree).

Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut

Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut

Available at Sundance Wine & Spirits

Retail: $47

ABV: 12.0%

Another beautiful bubbler – and this one it’s okay to call “champagne.” This is another great value that won’t break the bank, and still delivers big. It’s got a delightful, effervescent tingle that pairs great with a Tuesday night (or fish, or spicy food, or shouting “Congratulations” when your sister-in-law Stacy announces she’s pregnant with twins – in which case, probably pop 2-3 so you can drink for her). No, you won’t cry tears of joy drinking this, but I also promise you won’t be upset after you down a flute or two. Best when chilled ~45 degrees (or 40-45 min in the fridge).

moet imperial brut

Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut

Available at Sundance Wine & Spirits

Retail: $50

ABV: 12.0%

Gun to my head, this is probably my favorite all-around bubbly – when adjusting for price, value, flavor, and likelihood to find it on the shelf of any given store. It’s just a grand time waiting to happen, and truth be told, sometimes I even find myself craving it. Moet & Chandon rarely misses the mark with anything they produce, and this is the best “Gateway” wine you could hope for – in champagne, or in Moet & Chandon’s full lineup. Again, you’ll want to ice this baby down (and resist the urge to shake it up and spray it), ~45 degrees.

Wild and Wonderful Whites West of Van Buren

trimbach gewurtztraminer

Trimbach Gewürztraminer

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $32

ABV: 13.5%

Less polite folk might refer to this wine as a “patio pounder”, but trust me, you should fight the urge to gulp this gorgeous Gewürztraminer. This is one of those wines that you’ll savor. It’s got a nice acidity that’ll have you watering at the mouth between sips. It’s a brilliant summer wine, or a great easy-drinking aperitif to pour out with friends before you serve dinner. Put down the jug of Barefoot, Karen, and getcha some of this good juice. (I’d recommend you chill this baby off too~45-50 degrees F (or 30-40 mins in your beer fridge).

Trimbach Riesling

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $23

ABV: 13.5%

Now here’s a wine that’ll make anybody want to swallow. LOL. If I was more in touch with my feminine side I might describe this wine as “yummy.” But seriously, it’s a great bottle of juice. And it’s a beautiful representation of Alsace, France (where it was born) and of dryer Riesling. Fun hints of green apple, honey, and mineral jump out of the glass like a Calaveras County frog. This may be the best $23 dollar of juice money can buy in Enid, OK. Now serving at The Wine Press. HINT: if you want a great dry riesling, look for stuff from Alsace, France.

Serve at ~45-50 degrees F (refrigerate for 30-40 mins).

Toad Hollow “Unoaked” Chardonnay

Available at The Wine Press or Sundance Wine & Spirits

Retail: $15

ABV: 13.9%

Listen, I love a good mouthful of buttery movie theater popcorn as much as anybody (as long as it’s not at the old Enid Mall theatre, amiright?). But THIS wine is NOT that. And thank God. Because too much oak (which is what causes the buttery flavor) will kill a good chardonnay. A kiss of oak is like the sweet caress of a soft breeze on an Oklahoma summer day. With California grapes, it’s hard to find a good value chardonnay that’s not a sloppy mouthful of butter. But this wine hits the mark because there’s precisely zero oak. They age the wine in stainless steel vats, and as a result the delivery is a beautiful, refreshing treat.

Serve at ~50 degrees F (refrigerate for 30 mins).

Red, Wine, and Blue

Blue Quail Estate Grown Pinot Noir

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $24

ABV: 13.4%

I’m obsessed with Pinot Noir – especially the French stuff (you may know it as “Burgundy”, except that shit is expensive AF and not surprisingly nobody carries the high-end stuff here in Enid, OK. But fear not. Enid Wine Guy has got you in his hands, and while I’m not a doctor, I watched a ton of ER as a kid. So you can trust me when I say “A bottle of this per week will keep the doctor away.” Because I have a tendency to be a snobby French wine purveyor, you might often catch me turning my nose down to American Pinot Noir. Sometimes this is warranted, a lot of American Pinot taste like dirt and rotting soil. Gross. But there’s also a ton of good stuff – and if you can learn how to spot it then you can drink great Pinot on a budget, without contributing to France’s GDP. A couple things I like to look for – first, “Estate Grown” is a term that means all the grapes are grown at the same place (on the estate), and IMO the grapes that grow up together produce better-tasting wine (probably a life/family lesson in there). Second – find a region you like and look for bottles from there, even if it’s an unfamiliar label. For American Pinot Noir, I look for “Russian River Valley” or grapes grown near there. This wine is grown along the Russian River in Potter Valley. I’d never heard of it, but bought it because I saw both those clues, and I love it. Fantastic bottle that I’d put against any French Burgundy in the same price range.

Serve at ~55-60 degrees F (refrigerate for 15-20 mins).

Justin “Savant” Red Blend

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $50

ABV: 16.1%

Some will say that I only like this wine for the name – and they’d be dead wrong. It’s a great name, but an even better wine. I’m a huge fan of Justin Wine, and this one takes the cake. It’s their mid-tier price wine, too, but I think it’s as good as any of their non-private-label stuff. And it over-delivers for the price. It is a huge, bold, in-your-face kind of wine. Almost like a playground bully. Except it won’t kick your ass (unless you call it names and drink the whole bottle by yourself). It’s a beautiful blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It’s got an intoxicating aroma that’ll make you curl your toes. You’ll want to savor every last drop.

Serve at ~60-65 degrees F (refrigerate for 10-15 mins). Decant for 30 min – 1 hour.

Sexual Chocolate Red Blend

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $25

ABV: 14.5%

Fun name. Fun wine. Even more fun label. As the bottle would suggest, this is a great blend that makes for easy-drinking on any night of the week. It’s a great one to crack open with friends, or serve as a standard “Table red wine”. It won’t break the bank, but it may break the ice at an awkward dinner. Drink for fun or fancy occasions. You won’t be mad you did.

Serve at ~60-65 degrees F (refrigerate for 10-15 mins).

Big, Bold Reds

Barons de Rothschild Saint-Emilion Légende Bordeaux

Available at The Wine Press

Retail: $39

ABV: 13.0%

Shut up and take my money. For $39, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything out of Bordeaux, France that’s as powerful, expressive, or downright delicious. The producers make a ton of high-end shit that costs more than a Kia sedan (halfway joking). This one is their price-friendly production, and as the kids say “It slaps”. If you want to impress somebody, get a bottle of this, open it up for an hour before you plan to serve it, and then enjoy. It’s an incredible first taste right out of the glass, but gets even better after it opens up (kind of like most introverts, except as far as personalities go, this wine is definitely extroverted). Enjoy. Just save a glass for me.

Serve at ~60-65 degrees F (refrigerate for 10-15 mins). Decant for 30 min – 1 hour.

HG III Napa Valley Proprietary Blend

Available at Sundance Wine & Spirits

Retail: $50

ABV: 14.5%

If you like big, bold reds, then get yourself a bottle of this Hourglass piece of art. Seriously, it’s a wonderful wine. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s somehow rugged and cocky, but sophisticated. Like if Indiana Jones wore a Tuxedo. It’s a great value at $50, especially considering the average price per bottle of most stuff Hourglass Wines produces. Check this out for a date night or a special occasion or just because.

Serve at ~60-65 degrees F (refrigerate for 10-15 mins). Decant for 30 min – 1 hour.

Introducing Enid Wine Guy

Hi friends,

Enid Wine Guy here. Writing you from our HQ in Enid, Oklahoma. Thanks for stopping by the site, and welcome.

Let’s cut straight to the chase.

Wine is best when shared. And that’s why I started this site!

To share my love of wine with family, friends, connoisseurs, and new wine lovers.

Don’t worry. I promise to keep things light. Wine is already intimidating enough without people acting snooty. But wine is made to be enjoyed, shared, and appreciated.

And that’s what I hope to do here – share it with you, so we can all enjoy and appreciate it more.

For now, I plan to focus predominantly on wines available in Enid, Oklahoma (not grown, lol). I’ll share my reviews, ratings, and basic info (like price and where to find it). Eventually, I may branch out from there. But for now, I’m just an Enid Wine Guy.

Anyway, thanks for reading. And pardon the dust here as I get this site built out. More coming soon.


Enid Wine Guy

PS – Give us a follow on Instagram: @enidwineguy! That’s where I’ll be posting pics, ratings, and reviews in real-time.