Based in Bakersfield, Mike Stepanovich has been writing his wine column, “Life is a Cabernet,” since 1985, and judging wines since 1987. As an avid wine collector, Mr. Stepanovich also teaches wine history and wine appreciation classes for California State University, Northridge, and California State University, Bakersfield. “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 reviews restaurants. His work has appeared in such national and international publications as International Wine Review, Wine News and Wine Business Monthly. Mr. Stepanovich is recognized for his discerning palate, and has judged at such renowned competitions as the Indianapolis International Wine Competition, Florida International Wine Competition, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, and the Riverside International Wine Competition. He is the past president of the Bakersfield Wine Society, and serves on the committee for CSU Bakersfield’s annual scholarship fundraiser, “Party in the Park,” a wine tasting that has grown to one of the largest wine events in Central California. He also makes his wine, a blend of syrah, petite sirah and cabernet sauvignon, from grapes he grows himself, and from other sources. In his spare time, he is writing a tongue-in-cheek novel about wine, tentatively titled “Zinforado!” which he hopes to publish sometime in the near future.