Back in 2009, or maybe even a bit earlier, I had an appointment with our insurance agent at her office in Newhall. She mentioned that a “money guy” who worked down the hall, had been reading my wine column in The Signal newspaper and wanted to meet me. The guy was Michael Perlis. That fateful day was the beginning of a great relationship.
I walked over to Michael’s office, knocked, and we met. Come to find Michael was a fan and a wine lover, but he also had a motive in meeting me, he wanted to contribute to Eve’s Wine 101 website and also…be my editor to catch and correct all of the errors he had read of mine over the years! Egads – one of Michael’s favorite Eve-ism words – and off we were. I don’t know if he said all of this in our first meeting or later after we four – with our spouses Eddie and Karen – had met over wine a few times, but this is how I remember it.
Flash forward a bit more to one of my articles for Eve’s Wine 101, and the first time that Michael chimed in on my post. That was May of 2009. Michael began writing a weekly column, which ran most Saturdays following my column on Fridays. Over the years I’ve learned more about wine through Michael’s articles – even more now that his wife Karen is co-writing them – and I suspect he’s learned from some of mine.
We’ve shared wine event plans, wine trip plans, tasting notes, and plenty of wine over the years. But mostly we’ve shared a deep friendship, common interests and goals for our website.
More collaboration included Michael pushing me to create Eve Bushman Consulting where for over a decade we assisted non-profits but also wineries, bars and restaurants with marketing and events. (We had been asked for advice many times, based on our wine/spirits knowledge, experience and knowing our city.) More of that can be found via a Google search or Eve’s Wine 101 blog.
Some of our amazing memories include the story behind the photo I chose for this post: we offered our consulting services to the Wish Education Foundation when we presented an idea of having the first wine tasting in the Old Town Newhall Library. We recruited pals, including co-host Marlee Lauffer, to open their own cellared wines, as well as wineries and local restaurants that were willing to participate. There’s a lot more on that event and others in our blog, it’s just one example to illustrate our collaboration, and the support of our spouses that also gave up their time and their wine. This particular event was called A Toast And A Wish.
While Michael and Karen had wine tasted in Paso Robles, when we first met I hadn’t been there yet. Michael taught me that the Central Coast – and Sonoma, an area I also didn’t visit often – had plenty to offer. I learned pretty quickly that it was time to hit the road. I was mostly an armchair writer at that point, except for trips only to Napa now and then. Our wine tastes sometimes differ- I am big on Napa Cabs, Rhônes and Bordeaux – but we appreciate each other’s palate. We both love Zinfandel! I’ve learned that getting out of my comfort zone – and a rut – helped me learn even more about wine.
Our own relationship
On a personal note, up until Covid, Michael and I enjoyed monthly staff lunches over wine. Michael brought the wine and I footed the bill, and I know Michael was the more generous one here! We would cover business, and then get down to harmless gossip, travel plans and ideas. Almost every time when a new challenge faced us, Michael always found a way to bolster my ego – and our collective talents – to take on any challenge. We enjoyed supporting our favorite local restaurants too, and hope to renew these lunch meetings as soon as Covid stops plaguing us all.
I have been pursuing my passion for wine for more than 25 years. I have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show me the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages me and shares my interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as I possibly could, I had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, I do my best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. You can contact Michael at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not sure what prompted this article. I had recently reached out to Michael for his thoughts on changing our weekly newsletter to twice monthly, and possibly not having daily content. While I’ve retired Eve Bushman Consulting, Eve’s Wine 101 blog is standing firm as both of us have no plans to stop writing and supporting the wine and spirits industry. Whatever it was, I’m happy to report that we are both thankful to our loyal readers, now for well over a decade! And maybe I just wanted Michael to know, as he is editing this article like all of my others, how much he is loved and appreciated. Egads!
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 (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.