Was there a specific wine, moment or place that unlocked your passion?
Brad Binko: All of the above!
Wine: Viña Cobos Malbec. It was in Charleston, South Carolina, just getting more serious into wine. I was working as a bartender at the new hot spot, The Ocean Room on Kiawah Island, and was at a tasting with my GM and Sommelier. It was the moment when I was like, holy sh**, I understand why people like this stuff so much. In 2018, I visited the winery while in Argentina and interviewed the winemaker for my documentary. It is, to this day, the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever purchased.
Moment: I was bartending at said place and someone asked for an older bottle of Chateau Margaux. I decanted by candle light and was tipped 20% on that bottle. I knew then that I needed to be in the industry, lol!
Place: Buffalo, New York, growing up with a father who is a collector made me aware young of how cool and special wine is. I never forgot that. Now I think it’s cool that my dad asks me for advice on wine.
What did you study in school and what were you doing before you started in the wine industry?
BB: Psychology and Philosophy at Northeastern in Boston, Massachusetts. I worked mostly in food and beverage but did own a promotions and marketing company in Las Vegas, Nevada for six years.
How has being in the wine industry changed you?
BB: It made me stop looking for somewhere and something that I was 100% happy in. However, it hasn’t changed me as a person. I do things my way– it pisses some people off but sadly, you will always have your haters.
What’s your favorite part of being in the wine industry?
BB: Being in the wine industry. I often look around the dinner table and I am sitting with some of the biggest and greatest names in Washington wine history. I’m not there as a fan or buyer though, I’m there as a peer. That’s the cool thing. It’s important not to take things for granted and to enjoy every moment of it.
Looking back, was there something in your past that led you to wine?
BB: Yes, everything in my life led me to wine and where I am now. I honestly believe that I didn’t get into the wine industry during my time in Las Vegas because I needed to know and learn how to both sell and market my winery right now. Everything I have done prepared me very nicely for where I am now. I am very fortunate and grateful.
Follow these links to read more about Brad, Eternal Wines and his Drink Washington State Wines: