Alumni Stories

Frank J. Prial (C’51)

Former Wine Columnist, The New York Times, and Author, Decantations

Location: Philodemic Room, Healy Hall, Georgetown University
Interviewer/Producer: Anneliesa Clump Alprin (G’06)
Editor: Lisa Fthenakis (C’10) Frank J. Prial

Prial reflects on post-war Washington, D.C., the competitive English classes at Georgetown and the good fortune of knowing Rev. Timothy S. Healy, S.J. Prial’s first job was at a Howard Johnson’s, after which he worked at The Washington Post and dabbled in sports public relations before joining The New York Times. Prial was The New York Times’ wine columnist for 25 years, as the author of the weekly Wine Talk column.

Prial is the author of Wine Talk, published in 1978, Companion to Wine, published in 1992, and Decantations, published in 2001. As a wine writer, Prial elucidates what he calls “winespeak.” He has said that a person “should not have to be a budding enologist to enjoy reading about wine,” and believes that “there’s enjoyment to be had of a glass of wine without making a fetish of it or paying a lot for it.”

Additional Resources

News Articles by Frank J. Prial, The New York Times

The New York Times
“AT LUNCH WITH: Timothy S. Healy; A Priest Finds a Bully but Secular Pulpit”
Sept. 30, 1992

The New York Times
“Campus Journal; Georgetown of Clinton, Meet Georgetown Today”
June 2, 1993

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