People often ask how I got started on this wine journey, both as a writer and as a marketing consultant. Let me start with the wine, of course!
The Wine Journey
Drinking wine came well before tasting it – sounds crazy but it’s true – But I was perfectly satisfied with a box of Franzia wine for a glass of something cold and pink in my early twenties. I met my future husband, and soon after his sister took us wine tasting – a vertical at Concannon.
From there we were hooked. Classes at the Wine House in West Los Angeles, local wine tasting trips and a subscription to the Wine Spectator wine magazine.
Within ten years of my study I was also a columnist for the Signal newspaper. I wrote a snarky weekly column called “Eve of Destruction”. After 9/11 I had a change of heart and grew a heart – married to a fire chief does that to you – and I retitled my columns “Another Face of Eve”.
Then John Boston, long-time Signal columnist and author, took over the then titled “Escape” weekly entertainment section. He asked what else I could write about for him. I said book reviews and wine reviews. I had been in a book club for a long time, not as long as I had been drinking wine, but both seemed to be a good fit. Boston agreed.
But then…I quickly noticed that there were rewards for wine writers that wanted to hone their craft. Invites to dinners, tastings, events and classes were being extended. No one was sending me free books to review, so I tossed my books in a heap – except the wine books I was now reviewing for review – and immersed myself in wine. That was 10 years ago.
During the past decade I’ve spent time as an “armchair writer” while my daughter was young and, later, time visiting and interviewing winemakers from my own home in the Santa Clarita Valley to Lompoc, Los Olivos, Monterey, Carmel, Napa Valley, Sonoma and finally, the mother lode: Bordeaux. I definitely have more to see.
The Consulting Journey
Before I “immersed myself in wine” I had worked as a manager in both retail establishments and in the medical field. Within ten years I had taken several continuing education courses on how to make these different businesses more profitable, had found a few mentors, started a group of brainstorming managers…and you guessed it: I started consulting. It was difficult working in an office and consulting at the same time, fast forward a few years and I left management behind when I got further into consulting and, at the same time, further into wine studies.
While I never dreamed that these two interests would ever intersect along came Michael Perlis. Michael knew of me from my years at the Signal, and once I made his acquaintance we were both convinced that we had to work together! I have never been so happy in my career! Michael offered to edit all of my articles (in every publication which by now included books and magazines) and offered to write a weekly column in my fledgling website: Eve’s Wine 101.
Michael and I were covering a lot of events pretty quickly. And, due to my friendship with another wine friend, Roman Weiser, we started working together – with a ton of local winemakers – for our Pour Into events: Pour into Haiti and Pour into Sandy. Fast forward some more, and suddenly we were being asked to help almost every non-profit in the Santa Clarita Valley marketing their wine events.
Then, a for-profit business asked us for help. Michael urged me to start Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting, which, due to my former contacts, became Eve Bushman Consulting.
And the rest, like our upcoming Cocktails on the Roof, is history.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
The Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance presented Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other cool climate varieties at the Wine House in Los Angeles this past week. Guests were told not to “…miss this opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones and see what is up in the Hills!” And, in my usual form, those with short attention spans can get their fill in this 1 minute YouTube slideshow from the event.
For a change, and because this was going to be a tasting of only a select group of winegrowers, I made an effort to visit every table…but I didn’t drink everything as some (Brewer-Clifton, Crawford, Clos Pepe and Longoria) I had recently tasted at other events and from home.
I’d have to say that all, again for a change, were a hit with me. I may not have loved every wine from every winery but I did love at least 1-2 wines from most. This was a first for me. My takeaway notes from most are below. Sorry to the very few that I did miss!
Participating Wineries For Trade
AVE Wines – Loved at a recent STARS tasting but this was my chance to try three “above 90 pointers” from their Pinot program. Well done.
Brewer – Clifton – Already a fan of this rock star winemaker.
Clos Pepe – I always love seeing the hard-working Andrew Turner with the Pinot that, in my opinion, put Sta. Rita Hills on the map.
Crawford Family – Love seeing Mark Horvath, and his wines never disappoint as well.
Fess Parker – Busy table with lots of great Pinots, as it’s been doing for years.
Fiddlehead Cellars – Been a fan for a while, well done wines.
Flying Goat Cellars– Loved the “Goat Bubbles” for its great fruit, cheese and toast notes.
Foxen Winery – Nice Pinots, and killer 2014 Chenin Blanc.
Hilliard Bruce Vineyard and Winery
Hitching Post Wines– One of publicist Jannis Swerman’s favorites, her marketing helps me not to forget about this long-standing respected winery.
Ken Brown Wines– Classic Pinots as usual: Encantada Vineyard and Rita’s Crown Vineyard were my choices.
Kessler-Haak Vineyard – Fun 2014 Rose of Pinot Noir and a nice 2014 Chardonnay as well. And they did sneak in a bottle of 2013 Syrah that was great.
Longoria Wine – It was nice to see Richard Longoria with his impressive Pinots at the event. (I’m a former club member and have met with him at his Lompoc Ghetto tasting room.)
Montemar – Followed wine pal Marla Hofstee to this table, plenty of vintages to try and enjoy.
Pali Wine Company – Loved at least two of their Pinots: Huber Vineyard and Summit!
Prodigal Wines – Had to agree with Wine Enthusiast: the 2013 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir was well deserving of its 93 points.
Purisima – Loved the Zotovich Vineyard 2015 Chardonnay!
The Hilt – Their fun wine rep walked me through a few nicely made Pinots.
Wan Fiore Project – The first table I stopped at, I recall liking the 2013 La Encantada the most. The winery name is a blend of the names of two brothers-in-law, one named Wan, the other, Fiore.
If you are a Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay fan you MUST plan a visit. Start here: http://www.staritahills.com