Lisa has been active in the wine trade for fifteen years as the owner and operator of Casey Jones Restaurant & Bar, a second generation family-owned, neighborhood restaurant located in Southern Maryland. Lisa, a diploma candidate with the WSET and Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators, has been passionately pursuing knowledge of wine through education, travel and photography for a decade. As the creator of Finally Wine in 2009, a collection of family-owned wines, Lisa sought out and brought together great small producers such as Cooper Mountain Winery, Small Vines, Adrian Fog & Giornata, introducing them to the Washington, DC area.
Alex G Bardsley CSW AIWS is presently Sommelier at L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Virginia. While spending much of the last 29 years in hospitality, Alex earned diplomas from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, as well as an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University. He has published articles and translations on subjects ranging from Indonesian literature and politics to ethnic Chinese business in Southeast Asia. While pursuing his studies, Alex worked at such restaurants as Maloney & Porcelli, the Oceanaire Seafood Room, New Heights, and Le Zinc, where he served as Wine Director. He has also taught Food and Beverage Operations and Dining Room Operations in the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Washington.
Alexis is a Certified Sommelier, with an in-depth background in all facets of wine and the wine market. She acquired her knowledge and appreciation in the wine industry over the last ten years and is now currently going for her Advanced Sommelier exam. Through the years she has worked her way up to managing the Western Region for ten different wineries from around the world and now has a distribution company in Hong Kong that is expanding across Asia. She is a Certified Sommelier with broad experience in sales, management, brand building, wine education, wine market trends, and immense wine knowledge.
Bartholomew Broadbent is the owner of Broadbent Selections, one of America’s finest wine importing and national wine distribution companies. He produces Broadbent Vinho Verde, Port and Madeira. He is ranked 48th on IntoWine’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry". In June 1997, Decanter magazine named Bartholomew one of the “fifty most influential in the wine world…the faces to watch in the new millennium”. Bartholomew moved to America in 1985 to start a Port importing company for leading Port brands, spending the next ten years educating Americans on Port and Madeira. In 1988, Bartholomew was responsible for reintroducing Madeira to the US, which had faced extinction during and since Prohibition. He has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter. Profiled by Wine Spectator , Market Watch “The Pioneer of Port” , American Fine Wine Magazine  and Forbes.com , son of Michael Broadbent MW, Bartholomew was also named by Wine&Spirits  as one of ten in the world to be “driving the most revolutionary changes in wine”. Bartholomew founded Broadbent Selections in 1996 to continue promoting Port and Madeira and, today, among the 39 wineries he represents, Broadbent is especially known for importing the finest of the finest wines from South Africa, Lebanon, New Zealand and Portugal. Bartholomew has been a wine speaker for most of the major cruise lines and wine festivals. He lives in Richmond, Virginia and has a very strong passion for Virginia’s wineries. Bartholomew can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and at www.broadbent.com
Jeni Bonorino has been in the wine business for over 15 years with a focus on international wine sourcing and selection for companies such as Total Wine, Vino Volo and Liquor Stores N.A. (North America's largest publicly traded liquor retailer). Jeni earned her MBA from Bond University in Australia with a focus in International Wine Marketing from the University of Adelaide. She has written wine numerous articles for international publications as well as taught wine education classes in the United and Brazil. Jeni is currently enrolled in the WSET Diploma program.
Matthew Carroll came into the wine industry by way of the classroom. As a teacher and counselor, Carroll honed skills that serve him well as a sommelier. He has lent his talents to such venues as The Inn at Little Washington, 2941 Restaurant and Rogue 24. He now parlays his skills and experience into working with European Cellars, one of the premier import companies of Spanish and French wines. Matthew works incredibly hard to demystify wine and teach both guests and staffs with his contagious passion for drink. He is currently working toward his Master Sommelier certification.
Katie Cavanagh is the President and Co-Owner of Cavanagh Family Imports, a wine importing/ distribution company based in MD/DC with distribution in seven other states. Katie is also a Certified Specialist of Wine earning her credentials through the Society of Wine Educators.
Michael Cavanagh began his relationship with wine working in fine dining restaurants before managing a tasting room for a mid-size winery on the east coast. He currently owns Cavanagh Family Imports with his business partner and wife Katie Cavanagh. Michael is also a published wine writer and his work has been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Centurion Magazine, Departures Magazine, The Cultureist, Palate Press, and others. He has also written for the wine education site Corkquiz.com and has contributed to books about wineries and restaurants in Australia. Michael is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators.
I started my wine career working at Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia my senior year of college and then moved to California after graduation. I worked for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa at the same time I attained a B.S. in Wine Sales & Marketing at Napa Valley College. I focused on consumer education at the winery for over three years while Warren Winiarski was the owner and then decided to switch to sales. I worked for Alexia Moore Wine Marketing who brokered several California & New Zealand properties before moving back to the east and taking a position with Winebow. Currently, I am the U.S. Brand Manager for Spain and Portugal for MundoVino, a member of Winebow, Inc. for who I had previously been a wine sales representative for over ten years. Winebow, Inc. represents over 6,000 producers and is a top importer of international wines in the luxury category. I have passed the Introductory Level 1 of the Court of Master Sommeliers, earned my Wine & Spirits Education Trust Advanced Certificate as well a my Certification for Specialist of Wine, CSW, from the Society of Wine Educators and passed all but 1 unit of WSET Diploma Course.
Hayley R. Curry is a First Year Master of Wine Student. She earned her Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma in 2015 and is a French Wine Scholar and Certified Specialist of Wine. Hayley also founded the popular blog Vino Verdict (formerly The Washington Wine List), where she writes about wine events and legal issues facing the wine industry. She became interested in wine while attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania. By day, she is a lawyer in the Army Office of the General Counsel at the Pentagon.
2016 is Jim's 3rd year judging for Virginia's Governor's Cup Wine Competition. He has earned WSET Advanced Wine and Spirits Certification (with Distinction). His start in the wine business came over 20 years ago at a Richmond VA wine shop while completing law school. Later, while practicing law, Jim's enthusiasm for wine got him back into the wine business at his favorite wine store, Arrowine, in Arlington VA. In 2002 he left his legal practice and joined Arrowine full time. Jim now writes Arrowine's popular e-mail wine features (read by thousands of wine fans each week) as well as selecting wines, organizing tastings, and sharing his knowledge and passion for wine with customers. He travels annually as a wine buyer/representative and his wine career was featured in Arlington Connections Newspaper.
Bill Curtis is one of the most experienced wine tasters in the industry, with a career that started in the late 60s. In 1981, Curtis started the Wine Club of Charlottesville which has met continuously for more than 30 years. He has judged at numerous wine competitions, and tastes nearly 100 wines each week for his wine program.
Julie Dalton discovered her passion for wine while waiting tables in college at Texas A&M University. While holding a full-time career in the Biotech industry, she nurtured this passion for twelve years to the point of completing her Sommelier Certifications up through the Advanced Level through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Prior to opening Wit & Wisdom in 2011, she was a moonlighting sommelier at Volt in Frederick, Maryland as well as Ranazul Tapas & Wine Bistro in Fulton, Maryland. Despite her east coast roots, she gets back to Texas at least once a year to help run TexSom and was on the inaugural sommelier panel to write for the award winning wines of the TexSom International Wine Awards.
In addition to wearing the Advanced pin, she is a Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators and is in the process of completing her Diploma in Wine and Spirits through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Julie has represented the Mid-Atlantic Sommelier community for several competitions including the Chaîne de Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier in 2010, the ICC StarChefs SommSlam in 2012 and 2013, the Guild of Sommeliers’ Ruinart Challenge in 2012, and the Wines of Chile competition in 2013.
George C. Davis graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1975, and immediately put that degree to work as the Manager of Fine Wine and Gourmet at Bacchus & Bread in Richmond VA. Davis has been the Senior Judge for the Virginia State Fair Wine Competition since 1999. George C. Davis is a Certified Wine Specialist from the Society of Wine Educators.
Kristi Delovitch is a top sales consultant for The Country Vintner in Washington, DC. Prior to her tenure at The Country Vintner Kristi was the top off-premise, fine wine consultant at Republic National for 5 years. In her current role, she consults closely with more than 30 fine wine retailers, hotels and restaurants and specializes in high-end wine from all over 15 countries. Kristi is a current WSET Diploma Candidate having passed the Wine Spirit Education Trust Intermediate and Advanced examinations. She is a WSET instructor for the Capital Wine School.
Maria E. Denton is an educator, restaurateur and consultant working in the Washington, DC area. She has been on the board of the Society of Wine Educators since 2008 and is a Certified Wine Educator with the SWE, a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Spanish Wine Educator with the Wine Academy of Spain
David Denton is the only American faculty member of the Wine Academy of Spain in Madrid and is a sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, DC. He has passed the Advanced Sommelier exam, is a Certified Bordeaux Educator, and holds all three certifications from the Society of Wine Educators: Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits and Certified Wine Educator.
Barbara Ensrud is a frequent speaker on the subject of wine, including its role in culture, history, myth and symbol. She conducts wine tastings and wine seminars for corporations, conferences and private gatherings. She also consults for restaurants in creating or upgrading wine lists, and with individuals interested in collecting wine or starting a wine cellar.
Michael Franz is a wine writer, educator and consultant. He is editor of Wine Review Online and a freelance contributor to many national and international wine magazines. Franz worked as the regular wine columnist for The Washington Post from 1994 through 2005 before leaving to help found Wine Review Online. Franz tastes approximately 9,000 wines each year and regularly judges wine competitions around the world.
David Hale has been working in the restaurant/wine industry since he was 16. Most recently he spent 6.5 years working for acclaimed Chef Michel Richard in Washington, DC-first as sommelier at Chef Richard's 4-star flagship restaurant, Citronelle, and later as GM/Wine Director of Richard's award-winning Penn Quarter Bistro, Central Michel Richard. He currently represents wines from France, Spain, and Portugal as Brand Ambassador for Vinifrance Imports and Vin de Terra Imports.
Jessica Hefland is an Economist by training who has spent the last six years exploring her love of wine. She is the proprietress of the popular wine blog Bottle Babble and contributor to the wine tourism and education brand A Life Well Drunk. Jess holds the titles of Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits, and Italian Wine Professional, and is presently finishing her Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma. Jess lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two cats.
Shields Hood has spent over 40 years in the world of wine and spirits. He is a Certified Wine Specialist as well as a Certified Wine Educator. He has worked in almost every aspect of the industry, from retail stores to managing a distributor. He's also a highly respected educator and does seminars and trainings for large companies around the country. In addition to being a former President of the Society of Wine Educators, Shields is currently the General Manager of the SWE. His areas of expertise include California and Bordeaux.
Andrew Howells was born in New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles for high school. He fled the endless freeways of LA for the pine forest of Maine and graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in 2000, with an A.B. in Government and Legal Studies and a minor in French. While living in France during college, he first experienced the powerful connections between food and place white eating fresh oysters paired with a simple muscadet. In 2004, he entered the hospitality industry, serving as General Manager and Beverage Director for a five unit restaurant group. In 2009, he earned the first of two sommelier certifications, passing the difficult multi-day examination of the International Sommelier Guild. He has since earned a number of additional credentials, including Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits from the Society of Wine Educators. He is currently pursuing a Diploma Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
He and his wife and two daughters live in Washington, D.C.
Gus Kalaris is the founder and owner of Constantine Wines, Inc a thirty year old wine distribution and import company that has enjoyed a great reputation for premium offerings. Gus is responsible for all purchasing, sales and marketing. Under his leadership, Constantine Wines has enjoyed decades of uninterrupted growth. Kalaris also has extensive experience building wine brands that compete in all ranges. Prior to starting Constantine, he held consulting positions with Mar-Salle Imports and Washington Wholesalers. Gus is a very outgoing and seasoned professional. In addition to his ownership responsibilities at Constantine, Kalaris founded AXIOS, super premium Napa Valley wine brand in 1999 to much acclaim. The success of Axios has spawned the WORTHY, TRUTH, and KALARIS FAMILY brands. Gus, a Greek American, born in Washington, DC is fluent in the Greek language and dedicated to his heritage. Kalaris has received numerous awards and national recognition for his charitable endeavors and serves on many charitable and philanthropic boards including Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Cal Ripken Sr Foundation. His proudest achievement is the raising of his family. He, his wife and their two children reside in Maryland.
For 35 years, Don Kinnan has been active in the fine wine trade, both on a business and personal level. Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Kinnan discovered his passion for wine during his US military service. He has traveled frequently to the wine regions of Europe, South America, New Zealand and California. His first of many Burgundy visits was in 1975. Upon retirement from the US Army 1983 to pursue his passion in wine, Kinnan became wine manager of a Washington DC fine wine shop. Two years later, he was hired as a field sales manager by a leading wine importer whose ownership included Maison Louis Jadot in Burgundy. This began a 26 year career in sales management and as director of education for the importer. During 20 years as director of education, he was responsible for educational services nationwide and conducted over 60 seminars annually for distributor sales forces, trade groups, and consumers. During his career, Kinnan presented wine seminars to over 50,000 wine trade representatives and wine enthusiasts. Kinnan’s passion for wine is evidenced by his involvement in numerous professional organizations. He has been cited by the U. S. Government for his role as founder of the Society for American Wines in Canada. He founded and acted as President of the Decanter Club in Washington, DC, and frequently presents to groups such as the Society of Wine Educators, where he holds that organization’s highest credential, CWE (Certified Wine Educator). He is also a member of the society’s board of directors. In 2012, Kinnan organized the curriculum and was the lead instructor in the French Wine Society’s Master Burgundy Certificate program, a role he continues today. In 2015, Kinnan chaired the successful organization and conduct of the inaugural Loudoun County Wine Awards Program. Kinnan received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University and his masters from Johns Hopkins. He had a long and distinguished military career in the US Army, from which he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While in the Army, Kinnan graduated from the Defense Department’s Language Institute for French, the Command and General Staff College, and served as an instructor and, subsequently, as chief of the South East Asian Studies Section at the US Army Intelligence School.
Brent Kroll is the wine director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which includes nine distinctive chef- driven restaurants, a bakery, a butcher shop and a retail wine shop. As wine director, Brent oversees the wine programs at each of the group’s concepts, leads sta training, and creates unique beverage programming & events.
Kroll’s new role also includes assisting in the creation of compelling and distinctive beverage programs for forth- coming restaurants such as Red Apron and Iron Gate. Those familiar with Kroll and his approachable, sophisti- cated style and incredible passion & knowledge of wine, will recognize his influence at each of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s restaurants both in the wine lists and on the dining room floor.
Kroll brings a wealth of knowledge and restaurant experi- ence to his current position. Before coming on the scene in D.C., Kroll worked with Michael Mina Group at Saltwater at the MGM Grand in Detroit, the Fairmont Turnberry Country Club in Miami, and Casa Tua in South Beach. Kroll arrived in the nation’s capital in 2008 and quickly made a name for himself with renowned restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. Kroll oversaw the wine program at Ardeo/Bardeo and later at the Oval Room, where he also created the cocktail menu. In 2010, Kroll accepted the position of wine director at Adour at The St. Regis Hotel. He has been featured in Washingtonian, DC Modern Luxury, and StarChefs.com.
Richard Leahy is a wine professional based in Charlottesville, Virginia and coordinates the conference program for the Eastern Winery Exposition, the largest wine industry trade show east of the Rockies. He has been writing about wines of Virginia and the East since1986, and in May 2012 his book Beyond Jefferson’s Vines was published to high praise from reviewers. Due to the many changes on the Virginia wine scene, he published a second, expanded edition in 2014. In 2007 he organized the Virginia Wine Experience in London which brought the top 64 Virginia wines there for leading British wine media and trade to taste. He was a regional editor for Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide, and was Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America. He is a member of the American Wine Society and the Circle of Wine Writers, and also has a website and blog focused on wines of the East at www.richardleahy.com.
Richard has partnered with Charlottesville Day Tours to offer the “Virginia Wine Expert TourSM” that pairs his personal expertise with a custom wine touring experience in the Monticello American Viticultural Area around Charlottesville. Richard is also available for wine tasting services for private events and can be reached at email@example.com.
Paul Lukacs is a wine write, educator, and adviser. He is the author of three books: Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasure (WW Norton), The Great Wines of America: the Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages (WW Norton) and American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine (Houghton Mifflin hardcover; WW Norton paperback).
Since 1999, Lukacs has worked as a consultant for restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area, helping select wines for wine lists, pair wine with menu items, and train wait staff. He also has served as a judge at numerous wine competitions, both in American and abroad. In addition, he is one of the organizers and founders of the International Oyster Wine Competition, held each November in Washington.
Paul Lukacs is also a professor of English at Loyal University Maryland. His academic specialty is 19th Century American literature, and he has been published in leading academic journals in that field. He lives in Baltimore.
Julian Mayor graduated from Boston University and worked in foreign policy before shifting careers and enrolling at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Upon graduation, Mayor managed French restaurants, helped to open Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC and eventually was promoted to Head Sommelier of Bourbon Steak and Wine Director of the Four Seasons Hotel.
Christopher McCririe was born and raised in Virginia and is a big advocate of local wines. He holds a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma from the Capital Wine School, and is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Chris has worked in wine retail, bartending, beverage direction, and distribution. He aspires to become both a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier.
Dave McIntyre has been The Washington Post's weekly wine columnist since October 2008. His writings have also appeared in Wine Enthusiast, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sommelier Journal, Vineyard & Winery Management, Wines & Vines, Washingtonian, Flavor and other publications. Meininger's Wine Business International magazine listed him as one of the most influential wine writers in the United States in its July 2012 issue. In August 2013, he achieved the Certified Sommelier rank in the Court of Master Sommeliers. Dave started his award-winning blog, Dave McIntyre's WineLine, as an email newsletter in 1999. He is co-creator of Drink Local Wine, an organization that highlights the growth of local wine industries around the United States. He was honored by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association in 2010 for his support of the regional wine industry. Dave has participated in and moderated wine presentations for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, and contributed to the museum's new exhibit, "Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000." His charitable work supports the American Heart Association and So Others Might Eat, an organization that helps feed the homeless.
A Virginia native, Frank Morgan works in the Legal and Data Privacy group of a global company by day. He is the author of the DrinkWhatYouLike wine blog, started seven years ago to chronicle his wine travel experiences and to share stories of the wines, wineries, and winegrowers of Virginia. His site was recently named one of the top wine news blogs by Millesima. Morgan is also a contributor for edibleDC magazine, the wine site Snooth, and is the associate editor of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine, the only print magazine dedicated to the state’s wine industry.
Kathy Morgan is an award winning sommelier and wine director. She has offered her expertise and experience to many of the world’s leading wine publications as a taster, commentator, contributor and panelist. Morgan's credits include The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, The Washington Times, Sommelier Journal, Food and Wine Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine, and Flavor Magazine. Kathy Morgan is the 105th Master Sommelier in the United States.
Ray O'Mara is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, a Sales Consultant with Washburn Wine Company and a founding member of of the Texas Sommelier Society. He is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Wine Educator, CWE, and a WSET Diploma Graduate. O'Mara is also an Accredited International Bordeaux Tutor, a Spanish Wine Educator, a Certified Burgundy Instructor, a Rhone Master, and a French Wine Scholar.
Educator, journalist, author and consultant, Deborah Parker Wong, DWSET is Northern California editor for The Tasting Panel, SOMM Journal and Clever Root where she reports on the global wine and spirits industries. In addition, she contributes features on business and production technology to Vineyard & Winery Management magazine and news to Drinks Business. Deborah co-authored “1000 Great Everyday Wines” published by Dorling Kindersley in 2011.
As a sensory consultant to the beverage and technology industries, Deborah serves as spokesperson and provides guidance in quality assessment and product development. She holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, teaches WSET certification courses and is as an adjunct professor of wine at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, Calif. She serves as a professional wine judge for several regional, national and international wine competitions.
Lindsey Parris ia a wine educator, business economist and retired AF colonel. As the CEO of a chemical company, Parris researched and worked with wineries on the problem of “corked” wines and general microbial contamination in wineries. Parris is finishing work on the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma and has wine education certifications from the Society of Wine Educators, the French Wine Society, Burgundy, Provence, and Spain.
I was born on December 29th, 1988 in Long Beach, California. My parents and I drove across the country 9 months after that to settle in Falls Church where I went to grade school at Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Glasgow Middle School, and J.E.B. Stuart High School. I went to Virginia Tech where I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. It was here that I took my first class in wine. Although I worked in small restaurants and food related jobs throughout high school and college, my first real restaurant job was at Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria. I started there shortly after graduating Virginia Tech in 2011 as a server and worked my way up to management by October. At the time, this restaurant was managed and run by the Eat Good Food group that also runs one of my favorite places to eat, Restaurant Eve. It was a formative experience that taught me if you are going to be successful in restaurants, you have to be dedicated. Days, nights, weekends, holidays, dedicated. I also fell in love with beer and started homebrewing largely because of my time at Virtue. I moved to Austin, Texas the summer of 2012 where I found a job at Uchi, one of the best restaurants in the city, and the entire southwest for that matter, that focused on Japanese food. This is where I began getting more involved with the beverage side of things. I was part of a team of beverage nerds that helped to completely revamp the training program for the company. As much fun as Austin and Uchi were, I wanted to live and work somewhere that would provide opportunities that would push me to grow and keep expanding my knowledge and skill sets. I moved back to the Washington DC area in the fall of 2014. Attracted by the beverage program at Iron Gate (in particular, by the selection of Greek wines), I applied and started working as a server in late October. By the same time in 2015, I was promoted to the beverage manager position which has been challenging, immersive and fulfilling from the start. I am lucky to have two fantastic bosses, Jon Barry my General Manager and Brent Kroll the Wine Director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
Jeff Siegel, the Wine Curmudgeon, is an award-winning wine writer whose blog annually ranks among the top 25 wine sites on the Internet. He is the co-founder and former president of Drink Local Wine, the first locavore wine movement and an adjunct instructor at El Centro College in Dallas. Siegel's current book is “The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine.” He lives in Dallas.
Nick Stengel is the Executive Sous Chef of Willow Restaurant in Arlington, VA. He earned his BA at American University and an MPA from George Washington University. After leaving the political and research field, Nick Stengel became a cook in 2002. He is a member of the American Association of Wine Economists and the French Wine Society. Nick Stengle blogs at Mastering Wine.
Marguerite Thomas is an award-winning photojournalist specializing in wine, food and travel. She is a columnist at Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine. For the past ten years she has been an annual contributor to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. Her work regularly appears in scores of publications, including Decanter, Santé, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits. She frequently serves as a judge in national and international wine competitions.
Kasia has loved wine since she studied abroad in France, at which point she was exposed to the "best wines in the world" according to her host family: French wine! Luckily, she already had some experience in the restaurant world, and upon her return to the states, she continued to grow and develop as a wine enthusiast and wine professional. In the more recent years, she managed a winery in the developing wine region of Virginia, worked as a Sommelier of a high end resort, and continued to spend her free time learning about (and teaching about) wine through the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) at the Capital Wine School. She is a WSET Certified Educator and a Diploma (Level 4) Graduate.
"I love wine, love learning about wine, and love teaching people why wine is worth loving!"
Tracy has worked in virtually all aspects of the wine industry during her 14 year career. She spent a decade in the Napa Valley, where she worked as a Sommelier for the Michelin-starred Martini House restaurant; was Director of Sales and Marketing for the highly regarded Vineyard 29 winery; and eventually began making wine for her own successful Napa Valley label, Analog Wine Co. A Virginia native, she has made her way back to the East Coast, first as President of PellOneda, a fine wine import and distribution company based in New York City. She then founded Waldron Wine Selections in Washington, D.C., a personal cellar management and wine education consultancy. She now resides in Richmond, VA where she is establishing a boutique retail and wine education center.Tracy holds the WSET Diploma, and WSET Level III Advanced Certificate (with Distinction).
Neal Wavra is a certified member of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is the recipient of the Commanderie de Bordeaux Wine Scholarship and the Kopf Foundation Wine Excellence Scholarship. Wavra and his wife currently operate the Ashby Inn & Restaurant.
Douglas Zerbst is the Director of Fine Wine for Republic National Distributing Co. of Virginia. He has many years of experience in restaurants, kitchens and hotels as a chef, food and beverage manager and sommelier.