Seminar DescriptionIn the early 1990, Smith began researching the impact of music on the taste of wine. His 2007 presentation to the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference has been widely cited, and he has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, on CNN, and twice on National Public Radio. His seminar Liquid Music was introduced to the music press at the 2008 Lollapalooza in Chicago.
Named Barbershopper of the Year for the Santa Rosa Redwood Chordsmen, Smith also sings baritone for his quartet, Sound Logic and in the Sonoma Chanson men’s chorus. His CD of original songs, “If I Could Be the Wine,” is currently in production.
In 2012 he performed the role of Ben Franklin in a local production of 1776: The Musical. Smith has always tried to hold his wines to the standard Ben Franklin set, that “Wine is proof that God loves us and desires us to be happy.” An actor/singer beginning in the Daytona Beach Repertory Co. in the '60s, he played Anna's son in "The King and I," sang "Kids" in “Bye Bye Birdie” and hit a high A ("good-BYE!") in “The Sound of Music.” He was permanently cured of stage fright at age 14 during a show-stopping nervous breakdown as captain of the guard in a Seabreeze Jr. High production of Antigone.
As a baritone in the internationally famed lndian Springs High School Glee Club, he memorized the Robert Shaw repertoire at age 15. In 1970, Smith sang the role of Matt in The Fantasticks at MIT while writing and performing folk vocals and guitar in the '70s Boston folk -rock band, Pope Pius Xll. Since moving to California in 1972, he has supplemented his winemaking career with solo folk performances, five years with the Napa Valley acapella group Local Color, and 15 years with the Sonoma Men’s Chorus and its successor, Sonoma Chanson. He hosted the TV series Wine Roads Less Traveled, and lectures on five continents on the relationship of wine and music. He is a Board Member for Sanctuary Productions, a nascent local Performing Arts Center.
A product of MIT and UC Davis, Smith entered the wine retail in 1972 and shifted to making wine in 1977, founded R.H. Phillips in 1982 and started his own WineSmith brand and consulting in 1992, simultaneously founding the wine technology firm Vinovation, consulting for 1,200 wineries on five continents until its sale in 2008. Continuing winemaking, consulting and lecturing, his articles in several publications culminated in the U.C. Press release of Postmodern Winemaking, Wine and Spirits Magazine’s 2013 Book of the Year.