"I've always wanted to live in San Francisco," she says. "The wine business there is incredible -- it really is the nucleus of activity. And I knew that the twentysomething demographic was not being served with wine events that really made them feel comfortable. I thought, 'What if I could bring the wine into an environment where they go anyway?' I found hot spots around town that were already popular with the demographic and held events on Friday nights -- which is a pretty atypical night. But it actually worked out swimmingly -- I went to nightclubs where there was no line out the door until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. anyways and held my events from 7:00--10:00 p.m. The owners were thrilled to have bodies inside, and it became a way for people to kick off their night."
Timing isn't everything, of course -- the event itself has to do the heavy lifting. "I did a lot of themes that weren't being done anywhere else; I tried really hard to appeal to this group for reasons besides just the wine. I did a tasting called Old School, where I paired wine with mac 'n' cheese, tater tots, PB&J, and gooey chocolate cake. I did it in a venue called Butter, in the south end of the Market District. It's outfitted to look a little bit like a trailer park. They have half an Airstream trailer sticking out of the back, and that's their kitchen. The food I chose was the sort of food they serve anyway, and the bar has a lot of cachet. I was able to benefit from the fact that people already knew about the venue and were already excited about it."