Ben

I

started my love affair with wine during hot summers in the south of France where my family would often vacation. My dad was really into wine and his interest sparked my curiosity.  He started taking me to tastings at the ripe old age of 15, where I was first introduced to the southern French varietals of Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise, and Mourvèdre, to name a few.  I fell in love with the beauty of the countryside where these grapes were grown as well as the fantastic juice that was produced.  My dad shared many more wine regions in France with me as I grew up.  He was a big fan of Burgundy & Rhone wines and I followed suit.

After college, I got a job at a wine bar in Bloomington, Indiana.  Not long after starting there I began leading tastings for staff, writing tasting notes and creating seasonal wine lists. I loved the variance in the wines I tasted. I loved explaining the subtleties and nuances that came with each varietal, vintage, and bottle. (Jesse, who I’ve known forever, would often visit me at the wine bar and I’d serve her the wines I thought were particularly note-worthy.)

Unfortunately, this love was put on hold as I entered the “real world” when I moved to L.A. to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. However, L.A. did offer new explorations into the world of wine.  With the help of my aunt, I was introduced to several of the major wine regions in California.  Together with my then girlfriend, Renee, we explored Santa Ynez, Napa, and Sonoma with a fervent thirst for knowledge.

Once Jesse moved to Los Angeles and met Luke shortly after, Hipster Enology was born. With our 4 distinct palates, writing reviews came very naturally to us. It’s something we’d all been doing in our heads anyway so putting it on paper/the internet was the next logical step.  Through our newly developed wine blog, we began attending many wine tastings and other wine related events.  Talking to producers, distributors and other people in the industry fueled my passion to make wine a bigger part of my life and to continue my wine education.  Following in Luke and Jesse’s footsteps, I took the WSET Level 2 certification course and passed with distinction.  As I learn more about the world of wine; I realize just how much more I have to learn.  To me, wine is a life-long journey with no destination, but it has to be one of the best rides!