Jack of All Trades, Master of Two

Doug Frost

Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine.  He was the second person in history to complete both exams and almost two decades later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions. According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” The Wine Spectator has also bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Mr. Frost, and he is one of the founders of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), considered by most industry professionals to be the preeminent education and examining body for the spirits and cocktail industry. He continues to teach and examine for BAR and within the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine programs; currently he serves as President of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America. Mr. Frost’s love of wine began in the late 1970’s as a waiter and wine steward, although he dates his first interest to a glass of Louis Martini 1968 Special Select Pinot Noir when he was fifteen years old. Frost was a fine wine wholesaler in the Kansas City area for fourteen years and, in that capacity, represented most of the best wineries and estates from America and the world.  Frost’s experience behind the stick dates back to a run as a bartender even before his time as a waiter, though his first restaurant job was as a dishwasher. His first book, Uncorking Wine, was released in the summer of 1996, and is still a staple for many restaurant and retail companies and their staff and management. Frost’s next book, On Wine, published by Rizzoli International, was released in the fall of 2001. The Washington Post calls it “fabulous, witty, engaging and wise… conveys more accumulated wine wisdom than most books 10 times as thick.” Frost’s most recent book, Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide, was released in October 2005; the third edition is due out in late 2011. Frost is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, Opus Vino, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and The Wine Report, an annual report edited by Tom Stevenson. He writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Sante Magazine, and Epicurious.com and is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star, as well as Hemispheres Magazine, Missouri Life and Fine Cooking. Frost is the host of Check Please!, an Emmy Award nominated weekly public TV show filmed in Kansas City. He also appears as a featured judge on Public Television’s The Winemakers, PBS’s first nationally broadcast reality show. Mr. Frost is also the wine and spirits consultant for both United Airlines worldwide, helping to select tens of thousands of cases of wines and spirits each year for service aboard the world’s most important worldwide carrier. He is the founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, a eleven-year-old national competition, is Head Judge and founder of the Mid-American Wine Competition, in its fourth year and has recently begun the Washington Cup, a competition for American craft spirits. He has served for many years on the board of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. He also serves on the board of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America, and is the current Vice Chairman. As a founding partner of a new spirits and cocktail educational organization, BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), Frost has created a fantastic resource with his partners: Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Andy Seymour and David Wondrich. BAR opened for business in June 2006; Cheers Magazine selected BAR and its founders as Innovators of the Year for 2007. Frost was awarded Beverage Innovator of the Year 2009 by Cheers Magazine. He consults with many retailers, restaurateurs, wineries and distillers in the realms of marketing, merchandising, sales, education and sensory perception. Mr. Frost lives with his wife and two children in Kansas City, where he spends his spare time listening to his massive punk rock, vintage jazz and weird music collection.

19 thoughts on “Jack of All Trades, Master of Two”

  1. Hi, Doug… Please contact me as soon as you can as I want to send you an invitation for the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition… Apparently I don’t have the right email address for you… Thanks… Coke

  2. Dear Mr. Frost,

    By way of introduction I’m James Gabler, author of Passions: The Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson, the 1995 Veuve Clicquot Wine Book of the Year, and a Robert M. Parker, Jr. “Wine Book of the Year” selection. My latest book, Dine with Thomas Jefferson and Fascinating Guests (published December 2, 2015) is a fact-based account of 25 dinners at Monticello, the White House, Paris, Philadelphia, London, and the French countryside. The guests are a who’s who of famous men and women of the time.

    As a wine writer with extensive interests in wine and food I would like to send you a complimentary copy but do not have your mailing address. If you think it is a subject that would interest you and your readers, please email me your postal address and I will get a copy to you.

    The dinners center on four of Jefferson’s passions: wine, food, dinner conversation, and travel and furnish an engaging view of Jefferson’s social life. The introduction describes how the dinners are structured and provides other background information. There are more than 400 historical source notes, many of which are annotated, and an Appendices that includes “Thomas Jefferson’s Favorite Wines Available Today.”

    Thank you,

    James Gabler

  3. Hey Doug,
    Bill Grady/KMBZ here. Could we do our annual champagne for
    New Year’s telephone interview this afternoon? Please call me
    913-481-3601? It will take less than five minutes. Thanks-BG

  4. I have two bottles of 1982 Mouton Rothschild & one bottle of 1985 Dow’s Porto that I would like to sell. I used to live in Atlanta and my friend Parks Redwine stored them for many years until I carefully transported them to Kansas City a few years ago. Any ideas on how I might go about selling them? Thank you.

    1. Franz – so sorry that I somehow missed this. Parks Redwine; I haven’t heard his name in years. Hope he is doing well. Shoot me an email at my email of winedog@att.net and I’ll see if there are any obvious options for selling those.

  5. Hi Doug. We have met over the years at different industry events. I am the owner of International Spirits and wines and would like to know if you know of the 90 yr old L.A.Cetto winery in Baja Mexico. I import there wines to the USA and would like to submit them to United Airlines as a wine to be served onboard flights. I greatly appreciate any advice on how to submit these wonderful award winning wines. Thanks,Glenn

  6. Hello Doug,

    My comment is not about what you have written here, but about the wines in United flights. Your smile appears in the menu they hand out in 1st or business class, so I thought I’d seek you out on the internet to offer some feedback. I’m not sure how much responsibility you have for the selections that are offered – perhaps you suggest Cheval Blanc 1947, and some bean counter at United picks 2-buck Chuck instead. In any case, the variety and quality of the wines on United has been declining very steadily over the years, and what we find nowadays is pretty midling. So, if I were in your shoes, I’d either fight for a proper wine selection, or take my name off the menu, less you become “reputationally challenged”. Considering that there is an enormous amount of really interesting wines around the world at very affordable prices, there is little justification for the fare United is providing.

    Them’s my thoughts.

    1. Richard – my apologies for being slow to respond. I’m sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the selections on United. I sincerely believe that, starting in January, things are going to be noticeably improved. I hope you feel the same after you see what United has allowed me to do, coincident with the launch of Polaris.

      Thank you for taking the time to write.


  7. Hello Doug,

    Do you offer, or would you be willing to advise, a place that offers wine education for the lay person looking to gain knowledge on this subject? My wife and I are not necessarily looking to become a sommelier, but have had fun and enjoyed tasting different wines and want to have a basic knowledge of our new found pleasure.

    Thank you

    1. Some local retailers will often such programs from time to time. I run an Introductory Sommelier program once a year; it’s a two day program that is a bit intense for non-professionals but is a quick and deep immersion into the diversity of wine.

    1. Robert – sorry that I missed this so long ago. I was just doing some late summer cleaning and came across your email. I generally don’t have public events that I speak at (mostly just trade events) though I do some fundraisers where things of that sort might happen. Is your boss in KC?

  8. Doug,

    I wasn’t sure where to post this question, but I thought I would see if this would work. I have a daughter who was born in 2006. And I would like to buy some wine from her birth year to be opened at her wedding. There’s no wedding date or anything on the horizon at this point, just for clarification.
    Even though we are also from Kansas City, she is absolutely enamored with Italy. At this point she has never been, but someday it will happen.
    So if you could recommend some 2006 Italian wines, that would be fantastic. Thank you Doug in advance for your response.


    1. Brunetto di Montalcino would be the best bet. There are many producers of that age worthy wine, but my favorites tend to be: Altesino – mainstream, easy to find, always good value
      La Gerla – far lesser known, quite good, always with serious god fruit
      Ciacci (Piccolomini d’Aragona) – this is a favorite of mine
      Donatella Colombini – the Rosso is always very good, but the Brunelli can sometimes be a bit overlooked (like 90% of the Brunelli out there)

      Argiano – bigger style
      Antinori – very trustworthy and pretty, if ubiquitous
      Frescobaldi – as above
      Banfi – as above, good value
      Capanna – nice, reliable
      Caparzo – very good, usually very good value
      Col d’Orcia – ubiquitous and good
      Il Poggione – muscular and good
      La Poderina – usually right in the middle of the pack
      Lisini – some elegance
      Santa Restituta – usually too expensive but sometimes not and very muscular
      Poggio Antico – one of my favorites
      Sasseti Pertimali – big and dry

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Wine consultant & writer, one of only four people in the world to hold both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine titles