James Tidwell MS
James is a writer, speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He is an expert in many areas of the wine trade and has traveled extensively to many of the world’s wine regions. His writing has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, World of Fine Wine, Lonely Planet, Celebrated Living, amongst others.
Tidwell co-founded the TEXSOM Conference with fellow Master Sommelier Drew Hendricks. Now in its 15th year, the conference is the premiere professional beverage education event in the country, attracting a prominent list of attendees, presenters, and sponsors from around the world. Tidwell is also Co-Owner and Producer of the TEXSOM International Wine Awards.
James passed the Master Sommelier examination in 2009, and also has his WSET Diploma. He is a Certified Wine Educator from the Society of Wine Educators, a Certified Tea Specialist from the Specialty Tea Institute, and a Certified Sake Professional from the Sake Education Council.
He has served on several beverage industry Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards, including the Court of Master Sommeliers – Americas; GuildSomm; the Society of Wine Educators; the Specialty Tea Institute; and the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas.
Tidwell is consulting Master Sommelier with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Las Colinas, Texas. Under his leadership, the resort’s restaurant earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and was nominated five times for a James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Beverage Program.
Prior to entering the wine business, Tidwell graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in International Trade and Finance, and the Culinary Institute of America, earning a degree with Honors.
James enjoys being a mentor to aspiring food and beverage professionals, writes on subjects related to the hospitality industry, and consults on beverage programs throughout the world.