Hai Tran, head sommelier at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary.

photograph by Travis Long

“I’ve always watched Mythbusters on TV and I plan to go see the live performance. It’s crazy how they come up with (ways) to test theories and notions.” – Hai Tran, sommelier, The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Hai Tran’s Vietnamese-American upbringing in Florida included hardly any wine, and he went to Duke with ambitions of attending medical school. While studying, he took a job at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club and discovered a passion for wine instead. Tran, 33, worked as the wine director at An restaurant in Cary and is now the sommelier at Herons, the Umstead’s five-star restaurant. While his favorite things to do locally are to dine and drink, “science has always been something I’ve been interested in.” His April plans include taking in the live version of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, a science show that tests the vailidity of myths, fables, stories, and ideas. Hai appreciates the scientific method: “Something that helped spur my career is thinking in terms of why something is the way it is, and wanting to understand how it works.”

Join Hai at the Mythbusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed show on April 29 at 8 p.m. $32-$62; Memorial Auditorium;