RICK KUSHMAN is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee, writing about wine and food and their connections to life in Northern California. He’s an award winning journalist who’s been nationally syndicated and who’s also covered television, politics and business. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Time, Sommelier Journal and Daily Variety.
He’s the author of “A Moveable Thirst: Tales and Tastes from a Season in Napa Wine Country,” which received strong reviews for wit and originality from beginners to book critics to wine pros like Andrea Immer Robinson, Anthony Dias Blue and Karen MacNeil.
He’s a multiple recipient of a Napa Wine Writers Symposium fellowship, a weekly commentator on food and wine on Sacramento’s KFBK NewsTalk 1530, and he’s been offering witty commentary on radio and television for years on stations in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles and for national networks ranging from NPR and the BBC to PBS and MSNBC.
As the principal in A Moveable Thirst programs and seminars, he’s conducted smart, cheerful keynotes, trainings, seminars and tastings for groups of all sizes, including major corporations, executive teams, charities, country clubs and private parties His popularity as a speaker and entertainer comes in big part because he makes wine fun, which is surprisingly rare among wine educators and somewhat ironic since people drink wine to have fun.
HANK BEAL is the Executive Wine Buyer and Director of Adult Beverages for Nugget Market and moves more than a million bottles of wine a year. He has been selling wine for more than 25 years, oversees a team of wine stewards and regular tasting events, and is a multiple medalist at the California Wine Tasting Championships. His wine department selections are used as teaching examples by the viticulture and enology department at UC Davis, where he has been a guest lecturer.
He is the co-author, with Rick, of the book “A Moveable Thirst: Tales and Tastes from a Season in Napa Wine Country,” and his unofficial corporate title is Director of the Nectar, which shows that he, too, knows that wine isn’t about rules, it’s about making life better.