Last week we enjoyed Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town event in San Francisco. Not only was there food, wine & music, but there was also lots of opportunity to catch up with people in the industry and to socialize. We had the good fortune to meet up with Sybil and Adam Strum, the dynamic husband and wife team that co-founded and jointly run Wine Enthusiast.
It made me wonder if they have the same “spirited” discussions that Loni and I often have about this little blog. You know, important things, like color, font size, “creative direction”. Invariably Loni is always right… I’ve learned that age old secret of somehow making my ideas, hers. And hence getting it right, the long way around.
Also, Adam generously took some time to speak with Loni on camera about the event, wine and the charitable cause (The San Francisco Food Bank).
Their story, like a lot of entrepreneurial successes, started small in 1981 when they mailed their first wine accessories catalog to 20,000 people. After only 4 years, the list was over 1 million names. First to market had its advantages.
Their bio describes Sybil as “detail-oriented and very organized”. Hmmm, sounds like someone I know! Adam is the visionary. The yin and yang as Sybil says as truly helped them work well together as business partners.
I will say one of my favorite things about the Wine Enthusiast magazine is its standard format size. Not that I have anything against Wine Spectator, but at times it’s not the easiest thing to cart around, or whip out on a flight.
A lot of people complain about the influence of wineries, the scoring systems, and perhaps even valuing entertainment against the sanctity of wine itself. To them, I say what?! Come on. Wine is supposed to be fun. It is sociable. Enjoyable. A life-long passion to enjoy, savor and share. So lighten up, and take a moment to appreciate all that makes wine, and the people that surround it, so intriguing. Well, at least, that’s my thoughts on it. I could be wrong. It would not be the first time. But then again I just run a wee little web publication, not a wine magazine empire.