The Scientist – Eric grew up being around, and learning about wine from his father, who worked for E. & J. Gallo Winery as a technical writer. Eric’s passion about wine has been a constant since becoming of drinking age in 2002. In 2004 he graduated with a B.S. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to graduate school where he received a M.S. and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida in 2006 and 2010 respectively. While getting his Ph.D., he contemplated pursuing a degree in wine making or viticulture upon graduation, but after ten years of college (and his wife’s desire for him to no longer be in school), he decided to take a break from school. He has a personal philosophy that there is a time and a place to enjoy all types of wines (some more than others) and thus he celebrates most varietals. He currently works as an engineer in the semiconductor industry and lives in Oregon wine country.
The Social Guru – Jeff grew up fearing the evils of alcohol until he met Eric. After graduating with a B.S. in political science in 2002, Jeff moved to Sacramento, the epicenter of California’s wine industry (that is, as long as you define “epicenter” as a place that grows no grapes, but is between several wine-growing regions) where he began a career in politics and eventually achieved chief of staff for a state assemblyman. Living in Sacramento helped cultivate a love for Napa Valley cabernet sauvignons and Amador County zinfandels. Jeff received his M.B.A. from the University of California Berkeley’s Haas school of Business in 2010, and currently lives in San Francisco where he works as a marketing manager.
The Scholar – Dustin first learned to appreciate wine in Rome, but grew to love it through the wines of Spain. The variety and complexity of wines from around Europe helped to drive a new interest in the draws and expectations of wine tasting. Dustin, who has never lived near a major wine producing area, relies primarily on shifting tastes in a variety of regions and occasional expeditions. Dustin is a recent graduate from the University of Florida and holds a Ph.D. in Classical Philology (i.e., Latin and Greek). His wine interests generally change from year to year: hearty Italians to GSMs to (currently) Rioja and Crianza wines of Spain.