Listening to Julie Brosterman talk about her life is akin to watching many glistening threads being woven together to form a beautiful tapestry. A business woman, with a background in the mortgage industry, a travel buff and oenophile, she has combined her talents to help women become savvy about wine. Julie is the owner of the wine boutique, Wine Valet in Beverly Hills, which specializes in hands on, personalized service. In 2005, she became founder and CEO of Women & Wine, a lifestyle company devoted to creating wine education and experiences for women. In her spare time, she is also an accomplished social media strategist, radio talk show host, and the inspiration behind the online community, womenwine.com.
In a recent interview, she shared the influences and philosophies that have led her to where she is today.
RR: “How did you get started in the wine business?”
JB: “From 1980-83 I worked at Windows on the World. Kevin Zraly had his office next to where I sat. He was in the throes of starting their renowned wine education program. There was nothing like it. I was like a sponge, and I would lean back in my chair, and say, ‘What are you doing in there? How can I learn?’ After work, he let me pour for that program. It was all men–Wall Street types. Of course, he would allow me to taste, and by the end of the class I would be spilling wine on everyone! I would give them my card and say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m the person who processes all the dry cleaning for guests at the restaurant.’ I learned so much in my time there. It was an amazing experience. Then we (she and her husband, Mark) moved to California, where my career in the mortgage industry allowed me to take a lot of vacation time. My husband and I would travel to food and wine destinations. I call the memories from those trips the postcards of my life, because they stick with me as if they happened yesterday.”
“I started Women & Wine in 2005, when companies were just beginning to market wines to women. For example, Beringer came out with a wine called White Lies, with a lie on every cork–things like, ‘I bought it on sale.’ I thought, ‘Women are so curious; what if there was a place they could feel comfortable learning, that would promote their girlfriend getaways being about discovering wine country around the world? Wouldn’t that make for a great next 40 years of their relationships with their friends from high school and college?”