Tommy La Stella of the San Francisco Giants; a sommelier with a glass of white wine

Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images; Maxime Fesenko / Getty Images

In professional sports, teams can try to build from within, leveraging draft picks and practice, hoping that chemistry will make a team more than the sum of its parts. But sometimes it’s best to simply acquire an experienced veteran. That’s what the San Francisco Giants did…with their wine program, at least, by signing a master sommelier deal.

Billed as the “first-ever master sommelier of a professional sports organization”, Evan Goldstein was announced this week as the latest addition to the Giants, with the club saying the partnership aims to “enhance the playing experience and further strengthen [the Giants’] link with the wine industry.”

The Giants suggest the inauguration of Major League Baseball in this department is nothing new: In 1977, the former Candlestick Park became the first ballpark in MLB to offer in-stadium wine service. And currently, Oracle Park has an almost overwhelming wine selection that the team describes as “a dedicated wine bar on each level, California Wine Carts along the Promenade and View levels, and seven unique locations that offer wine on tap. “. With Goldstein’s help, the Giants hope to elevate things even further.

“Wine, like baseball, is an experience — it creates and impacts memories and brings people together,” said Goldstein, who also happens to be a lifelong Giants fan. “Delicious wines can be mainstream and accessible, and as happy to pair with a hot dog as they are with a premium steak. I’m thrilled to partner with the Giants to create a new benchmark in wine.” for sports entertainment.”

The Giants outlined Goldstein’s new six-point duties: manage wine tastings, facilitate wine pairings, assist the ballpark with wine selection, organize other wine-related experiences for the Giants community, work with current and former Giants players involved or interested. to be part of the wine industry and to explore wine-related opportunities for the club in general.

“We are thrilled to partner with Evan and bring his extensive knowledge of wine to our organization,” added Jason Pearl, senior vice president and chief business development officer for the Giants. “His unique vision and passion for how wine and baseball can interact on many levels, inside and outside the ballpark, is exciting and we look forward to this collaboration.”

As for Goldstein’s stats, he was a bit of a rookie freak: When he passed the exam in 1987, he was only the eighth American and the youngest at the time to be named a Master Somm. He has written four books and has twice been named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in America’s Wine Industry”.