The wine industry is one often shrouded in mystery and sophistication; sommeliers swish the liquid around in their mouths, speaking of notes and taste lengths as if they were alchemists, so it makes a certain amount of sense that the field can be intimidating. Luckily for DTLA, Santa Clarita Valley’s Eve Bushman has come to town with a series of wine catch-alls for the beginner.
“There’s no way I can know everything,” says Bushman, who even after over a decade in the industry still maintains that she’s what she calls a “101-er,” just like any newcomer. “There’s people out there that have their Master Sommelier degrees that don’t know everything, because there’s always something new coming out.”
Eve’s Wine 101 is a sort of catch-all for wine enthusiasts, sharing press releases, reviews, and various other wine-related content and soon Eve will be sharing her knowledge with Downtown Weekly readers far and wide.
So how did someone like Bushman, who seemingly never harbored any deep-seated dreams of joining the Chevaliers du Tastevin, stumble into this business, let alone spend a decade-plus there?
“My wine interests began when I was probably 22 years old, I had boxed wine in my refrigerator that I put in a glass with ice in it like everybody else,” says Bushman, who would eventually become a connoisseur, traveling with her husband to places like Paso Robles and Napa Valley in California, Bordeaux, France and Ribero del Duero, Spain. But she would only “go pro” when her role as a journalist called for it. “About 10 years ago, maybe 15 years ago, I was writing for my local newspapers […] and I said, ‘I can do book reviews, and I can do wine reviews.”
Writing pieces on wine soon begat invitations to wine dinners, random deliveries of bottles of wine, and the like, something that a person could get used to very quickly.
“I thought to myself, ‘Well, nobody’s sending me any free books and that’s not so exciting anyway.’ And it just became like this fun hobby.”
As for how her “fun hobby” became a long-running website and business venture, Eve Bushman is at once blunt and unapologetic.
“I would bet for most people that do this, their answer would be, you know, the appreciation of wine and getting to like and understand wine, but I’m a full on attention whore,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a lot of fun. I mean, I have people that just say, ‘Can I be your Mini-me? Can I be your wingman at an event?’”
It’s a testament to Bushman’s talent and work ethic that, despite being so straightforward about some of her motivations, she still runs an incredibly efficient business — well, businesses.
In addition to running Eve’s Wine 101, Bushman also provided private in-home wine classes in the pre-COVID era, as well as consulting work. But even with all of her experience and accolades, Eve Bushman still strives to maintain an honest connection with even the most novice of her audience.
“That was one question I had [been asked in] an interview before, ‘Don’t you think that now that you’ve got your certifications, that you’re going to be talking above your reader?’”, says Bushman, who insists that there is no elusive “right” pairing when it comes to wine and food, that it simply comes down to whatever wine one might happen to enjoy, no more, no less.
“I said, ‘Well, if I’m doing that, then I’m doing a disservice to them, no matter how much more education I have.”
For more visit www.evewine101.com