Born in Houston, Texas (March 9, 1959), Bear Dalton has lived nearly all his life in the Houston-area where he attended Sharpstown High School and the University of Houston.
Since 1977, Bear Dalton has worked in some facet of the wine sales and distribution business. Since 1996, he has been the fine wine buyer for Spec’s Wines, Spirits, and Finer Foods, one of the largest wine-and-spirits retailers in the US with over 170 stores stocking well-over 12,000 wine SKUs – which may be the largest selection of wine in the world. At Spec’s his responsibilities include wine buying, wine sales and marketing, and wine-related public relations as well as working with customers. He tastes in excess of 9,000 wines each year. He has traveled extensively in the wine country in the US, Europe, South America and Australia and has regular contact with winery owners and winemakers when they travel through Texas. Over the last 23 years, Dalton has spent well-over a year in Bordeaux. Prior to Spec’s, Dalton worked in the industry in wholesale (Glazer’s, Quality Beverage, Prestige Wine Cellars), national distribution (Kobrand), and in restaurants and retail.
Since 1984, Dalton has taught, written, and consulted about wine. He has taught wine classes for the Rice University School of Continuing Studies 1988-2013 and sporadically for the Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston beginning in 2001. He also teaches regularly at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française. Through his classes, thousands of Texans - both consumers and members of the wine trade - have learned more about wine.
From 1996 through 2014, Bear Dalton volunteered with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Dalton was instrumental in founding HLSR’s Wine Competition and Auction Committee, on which he served as chairman. He also served on HLSR’s board of directors.
In 2007, Dalton was instrumental in starting-up a women's wine industry social and networking group – Women Of Wine (WOW) – which raises money for the Houston Area Women's Center. He continues to support WOW and it’s mission. He would love to be a member but notes that he is “plumbed wrong.”
An avid cook, Dalton enjoys entertaining. While he keeps some wine, he is much more a wine drinker than a wine collector. Dalton now devotes much of his energies to planning-and-cooking (with a talented team of volunteers) fund-raising dinners for groups ranging from 12-to-over-100 people. Much of that fund-raising benefits ECHOS (Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services) and HAWC (the Houston Area Women’s Center).