Living the good life

“Mike the Wine Guy” Wreyford

Photo by vic cantu

Mike Wreyford, aka “Mike the Wine Guy,” enjoys helping people find the finer things in life. A resident of Browns Valley, he was recently hired to be the wine director at New Earth Market in Chico and Yuba City. A recognized wine expert who has hosted dozens of tastings throughout the region, his motto is: “Life’s too short for bad wine.” He also hosts his own weekly radio show called “The Good Life Show,” which features enthusiasts in food, wine and travel. Listen to it locally on KKXX FM 104.5 and AM 930, or find it on iTunes. Visit New Earth Market at 864 East Ave. or log onto for more info.

What is your role at New Earth Market?

My mission is to make New Earth Market well-known, and to optimize the wine department to fit the needs of our community. I want to be an advocate for anyone who is enthusiastic about wine, from beginner to expert. Over 80 percent of our wines here are between $10 and $25. We also have $60 to $80 bottles, but most people want weekly wines to go with their spaghetti or pork chops. My job is to help people find what’s comfortable for them.

What are the wine tastings like at the store?

They take place about once a month, with up to 60 people. We have different formats, such as a focus on wine makers, or a variety of world wines. There’s no pressure to like any wine. If they don’t like it, I tell them it’s OK to pour it out. The tasting on Dec. 8 was our last for 2016.

Why do you think New Earth picked you?

I have a track record of assisting retail stores like Grocery Outlet in organizing and selling wine. “Mike the Wine Guy” is also my known brand. Plus, I help sell wines by putting my “Mike’s Likes” Facebook-style “Like” thumbs-up shelf tag next to wines I’ve tried and really enjoyed.

Your radio show, “The Good Life,” sounds fascinating.

Yes, it encourages people not to give up on their dreams. I’ve interviewed over 500 interesting people like world-class wine makers, travel experts and restaurant owners. No politics or bad news. I say, “My show is the antidote for the rest of the week.”

How’d the radio show come about?

Well, I’d owned restaurants, golf courses, and sailed over 40,000 miles at sea, but eight years ago I realized my main goals of independent financial success and a great relationship were not met. I moved to Browns Valley to care for my aging parents … Then I had a powerful inspiration: “Do the best you can with what you’ve got, where you are, in the moment.” That kind of became my show’s motto. When I accepted that I couldn’t reach my other goals, other doors, like my radio show, opened.