Taylor Rex Robertson – Lawyer By Day, Sommelier By Night – Savors the Taste of Victory


Haynes and Boone, LLP Associate Taylor Rex Robertson isn’t your typical wine connoisseur.

In addition to managing a busy practice at Haynes and Boone, the 34-year-old eagerly pursues a passion forged while working in the food and beverage industry prior to law school. Following college, Taylor took jobs as a waiter, bartender and restaurant manager that taught him the ins and outs of customer service and the food and beverage industry. He eventually reached a professional crossroads and had to decide whether to attend law school or become a professional sommelier.

The law won out, but Taylor continued to follow his heart, taste and nose, spending hundreds of hours in his free time studying wine history and theory, learning about the dizzying array of varietals and wine-producing regions, and honing his palette to detect the subtleties of color, taste and smell that would elude the vast majority of wine drinkers.

The devotion paid off. Last year, he passed the Certified Sommelier exam offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Now, he can claim another title: U.S. Open Wine Tasting Champion.

Taylor and his tasting partner, Jacob Fergus, a beverage manager at Dallas restaurant Savor and fellow Certified Sommelier, entered as a team in the U.S. Wine Tasting Open, which scores participants on their ability to correctly determine the main grape varietal, country of origin, wine region of origin, vintage, and producer of wines from around the world.

The blind tasting event took place on July 14 at the historic Pierpont Inn in Ventura, Calif., where Taylor confessed to feeling like an interloper. “We were the only ones not from California, and I was the only lawyer in the room. It was a bit like we were invading their territory.”

Following 12 blind tastings of wines from around the world, Taylor and Jacob emerged victorious, qualifying them to represent the U.S. in the World Wine Tasting Championship on Oct. 12 at the Château de Chambord in Chambord in the Loire Valley, France. The champions will team up with second-place winners Sue Hill of Cantara Cellars and Gwendolyn Alley, Ventura resident and Wine Predator blogger, at the World Championship.

To read more in the Wine Review, click here.

Taylor is a versatile trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court. His diverse group of clients includes Fortune 100 companies, international airlines, the National Football League, major hotels, restaurant groups, food and beverage franchisors and distributors, commercial landlords and tenants, financial institutions, hospitals, and medical practices.

Taylor practices complex litigation related to contracts, intellectual property, real estate, finance, franchising, healthcare, landlord-tenant, oil and gas, bankruptcy, construction, and insurance. In the courtroom, he has successfully argued motions for summary judgment, motions related to discovery disputes, and obtained early dismissals for defendants all while utilizing new technology to present evidence to judges and juries.

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