Instead of reflecting on last year’s favorite wines, or making any pesky wine resolutions, this article, one of the first for Beaconeers in 2012 is my 15-member list (alphabetical, and not in order of importance) of men that have contributed to my wine education in 2011.
I prompt you to start working on your own list if you are like me, and continually strive to learn more about that heavenly elixir we call wine. And, feel free to steal my contacts, as most of these wonderful men are on Facebook:
- Ian Blackburn, CSW, JWE – Founder of LearnAboutWine.com, established in 1995. Ian is studying for the Master of Wine and drinks wine for a living. LearnAboutWine focuses on the best quality events and classes, and a wine credential program that has graduated over 300 wine students in the last 3 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE). In 2011 Ian released his own wine called www.Beekeepercellars.com and in 2012 – WineCloudInc.com – debuts with a online wine store that provides education with your wine purchase. Focused on smaller artisan producers and limited production collectables that put you “in the know.” Ian has invited me to many events as press where I’ve had a great opportunity to: Learn About Wine via http://www.winela.com
- Anthony Dias Blue is a James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, and Editor-In-Chief of The Tasting Panel Magazine. He is also Executive Director of the SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION and the SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION. Not only do I get a monthly dose of news on spirits and wines from Tasting Panel magazine, I’m also lucky enough to be included in several media tastings a year – further educating my palate. http://www.TastingPanelMag.com
- The Husband, Eddie Bushman, has tirelessly kept our wine cellar well stocked –the key hidden – and my wine glass full of irreplaceable memories.
- Chef Lance Cowart has kindly allowed me to lift any and all recipes he has with wine as an ingredient for my website. His Facebook group, which you can join, is called “Turn Up the Heat – Men That Love To Cook and Women That Love Men That Cook.” Lance says, “I love cooking. I cook all the time when I can. Yes I am that guy. I love to turn up the heat in my kitchen.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/Theat
- Tim DeLuca is my oldest wine friend. He works in the TV industry, and one year invited me to an Emmy dinner. Once seated at a large table with people I didn’t know, Tim broke the ice by suggesting I choose the wine for the table. Don’t recall what the wine was, but the table approved my selection, and it was the perfect “ice breaker”. Tim also started giving me Wine Spectator subscriptions maybe 20 years ago. When he used the word “flabby” to describe a wine I scoffed, later, after some time and reading, I learned how to use the word myself.
- Dr. Joel Fisher, founder of the LA Wine Fest, and our new SCV Wine Fest, has kept me educated via his events. Fisher draws on decades of knowledge garnered from his many associations: writing for the Culinary Connection of the Chefs de Cuisine Association of California, the Beverly Hills Courier and the Underground Wine Letter; teaching at Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, wine instruction for the Culinary Arts Department of the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles, as a sommelier for the Escoffier Association of Southern California, a member of The Tasting Panel (formerly the Bon Appetit Tasting Panel) and as a Wine Host for CRN’s What’s Cooking Show….just to name a few. http://www.LAWineFest.com
- Our latest contributor on the Eve’s Wine 101 site, brought in by Contributing Editor Mike Perlis, Rick Fraga, provides me (and you) a wealth of knowledge: he currently performs wine education, hospitality and sales for Martinelli Winery, writes his blog, and works full time at following his passion for wine. His experience – over the last 20 years – includes working for a number wineries in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Additionally, after adding educational background in Wine Business, Marketing, Evaluation and Service at Santa Rosa JC, he continues to work with the Wine Studies program at the JC as a guest speaker and a member of the Wine Studies Department Advisory Committee. Read more about Rick on his site, http://www.GatewayToWine.com
- “Chef” Mike Fraschilla is noted among friends, family, and acquaintances to be “The Passionate Advocate” for wine, beer, spirits, food, and most matters considered to live La Dolce Vita! Mike has over 20-years experience as collector, caterer, promoter, consultant, educator, and pundit in matters relating to the food & beverage industry. I met Mike via Facebook, and later, in a dark parking lot…to buy from his allocation of Robert Mondavi reserves. And lucky for us, he has become a frequent contributor in my blog. He welcomes questions, comments and critiques and can be reached through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearing the end of my column’s normal length, and not wanting to edit out any of the accomplishments of my top 15…tune into the Beacon next Friday for numbers 9 and beyond.