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And apparently, they've been spreading good reports about Lazear. "I started getting phone calls to speak about wine for different groups. I've done some fundraisers -- it's the hot thing right now: wine auctions, wine-and-food pairing dinners." She has spoken at local meetings of the American Institute of Wine and Food, at cooking classes, and at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Some gigs are even a little luxe. "The Southern California Institute is a group of professionals, and several times a year, they want a topic other than their basic topics. I started leading some classes for them. They provide a wonderful venue -- they give me a nice budget to bring in some good wines to sample. But nothing beats the students. Most of them are young, but I've had couples who are in retirement who come together. I do it because of the look on people's faces when they learn something -- all of a sudden, this little window opens wide, and they say, 'I can taste blueberries in this now! I never thought I could before.' Or, 'I can now read a wine label in a shop and make a decision.' It makes me very happy."

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