NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




NMSU?s School of HRTM to host beverage series

New Mexico State University?s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management will be hosting a series of community tastings in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine. The program is held in conjunction with the school receiving the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences? Gerald Thomas Chair endowment for the 2016-2017 academic year.


The endowment is named after former NMSU President Gerald Thomas an international authority on world food problems. This fund is used to creatively address issues related to agricultural production or natural resource use.

?All alcoholic beverages start with an agricultural product. Particularly for wines, often the grower is also the maker of the product. Wines, spirits, and beers are essential to the hospitality and beverage industry,? said Jean Hertzman, director of the School of HRTM. ?It is no longer enough to know just the basics of the differences between red and white wines or types of liquor. The School of HRTM wants to expand our students? and the NMSU and Las Cruces communities' knowledge of these trends and specific types of wines.?

The event also gives the School of HRTM the opportunity to showcase their Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine. Built in 2012, the Academy's mission is to train students and inspire surrounding communities to learn more about wine and beverages.

The first event will take place Thursday, Feb. 2, and is titled, ?Classic Wines in Europe,? focusing on the distinctive wines from Spain, France, Italy and Germany. The event will be presented by Professor Mohsen Azizsoltani, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, ?Wonderful Whiskies? will be on the differences between whiskey, bourbon and scotch. This event will be presented by Shawn Stevens, union sheet metal journeyman for Vendome Copper and Brass in Louisville, Kentucky and Sir Adam Carmer, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

On Thursday, March 16, ?The Trinchero Family Estates International Dinner,? will feature a five-course wine pairing dinner. Barry Wiss, vice-president of trade relations for Trinchero Family Estates, will host the event. This event will differ from the others in that it will feature a reception at 6 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with the event costing $62.50 per person.

On Tuesday, March 28, ?Beverage Brand Management,? will focus on how suppliers and retailers establish programs and how do events and competitions help leverage brands. It will be presented by Tim Haughinberry, the president and CEO of Back Bar USA in Las Vegas, Nevada, and founder of the Montecristo Rum brand. The event will feature Chateau St. Michelle wines and the award-winning wine cocktails developed at its ?Shake the Vine? competition.

On Tuesday, April 4, ?Mixology Marvels,? will focus on the creative use of different spirits along with a discussion of cocktail trends and marketing and will feature a mixology demonstration along with tastings of different cocktails featuring top brands such as Casamigos Tequila. The event will be presented by Patrick Abalos, alumni of the School of HRTM and the bar & lounge manager and resident mixologist at The Westin hotel in The Woodlands, Texas.

To close out the series, on Tuesday, April 18, ?The Craft Brewing Industry,? will focus on how one is able to enter and succeed in the business along with a tasting of a variety of craft beers. The event will be presented by Michael Wray, professor of beverages at Metro State University in Denver.

?All are experts in their fields and bring different perspectives on the products and the industry. All have significant industry experience and are associated with hospitality programs or industry training,? Hertzman said.

Those interested in attending the Gerald Thomas Chair Presentations are required to make reservations. To make reservations, contact Stella Lucero at stcordov@nmsu.edu or 575-646-7324. Each event, excluding the March 16 International Dinner, will cost $15 per person. For the International Dinner, the School of HRTM requests you make your reservation in person at Gerald Thomas Hall, Room 138 starting on Jan. 27 at 8:30 a.m.