Mike Stepanovich

Photo of wine columnist and author Mike Stepanovich

Wine Journalist, Educator & Judge 

Mike Stepanovich began writing his wine column, “Life is a Cabernet,” in 1985, and judging wines in 1987. An avid wine collector, Mr. Stepanovich also taught wine history, wine appreciation and wine-and-food-pairing classes at California State University, Northridge; California State University, Bakersfield, and Bakersfield College.

Click here to register see him online via Crowdcast @ ThinkingFunny23, April 1, 2023, 8:30 am to 6 pm Pacific Time, with a 6:30-8 pm afterparty on Zoom.

His career in journalism has including being a columnist, a reporter, an editor, and a mentor and coach to new reporters. He currently is teaching and coaching writing through the California State University, and his students enjoy his sense of humor and passion for excellence in writing.

Mike has said he worked to do something a “bit different” with his wine column and have it look at the people behind the product. “Life is a Cabernet” first appeared in the pages of The Bakersfield Californian, where it ran continuously until 1998. In 1986, “Life is a Cabernet” was syndicated by Columbia Features, and appeared as a regular feature in various newspapers around the nation until 1992, when Columbia Features closed. In 1997 his column began appearing in Bakersfield Magazine, for which Mr. Stepanovich also reviewed restaurants. The magazine ceased publication in 2019. His work has appeared in such national and international publications as International Wine Review, Wine News and Wine Business Monthly.

He travels extensively and has reported on wine developments in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Australia.

Mr. Stepanovich is recognized for his discerning palate, and has judged at such renowned competitions as the American Wine Competition, Indianapolis International Wine Competition, Florida International Wine Competition, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, Riverside International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition and Long Beach Grand Cru.

He served as managing director of the Bakersfield Wine Society, and directed the Bakersfield College Foundation’s annual scholarship fundraiser, “Red & White Wine & Food Festival,” a wine tasting that was among the largest wine events in Central California.

He made wine from grapes he grew himself, and from other sources. In 2017, he published his first novel, “Zinforado!” (available on Amazon), a humorous look at the wine industry. He’s working on a sequel, and is contemplating a collaborative collection of his previously published wine columns.

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