Lana Bortolot, our New York Editor, contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Sommelier News and Snooth. Her work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, amNewYork, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. When she's not writing about wine, she writes on arts & culture, travel & lifestyle and community development. She hold the WSET Advanced Certificate with Distinction and has her sights set on the Diploma.      


Contributing Editor Ian Buxton works regularly in Scotland as whisky consultant and writer. He created and was previously organizer of the World Whiskies Conference. He is a Keeper of the Quaich and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Among his several publications, Ian's 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die has been an international best-seller now in its second edition, 10th printing and appearing in translation in six languages.


Chicago Editor Tom Caestecker Jr. has been active in the wine and spirits industry for more than seven years-in sales and marketing, public relations and copywriting. He has written more than 300 articles and op-ed pieces for The Chicago Tribune, and trade publications. Tom holds a Master of Arts in U.S. History from DePaul University, and has an Integrated Marketing Certificate from the University of Chicago.


Randy Caparoso is a multi-award winning restaurateur (founding partner and wine director of the Roy's restaurant group) and longtime wine journalist, and lives in Lodi, California.  He is currently "Bottom Line" Editor of Sommelier Journal.  He has been commended by the Academy of Wine Communications for Excellence in Wine Writing and Encouragement of Higher Industry Standards; an is an Electoral College Member of the annual Vintners Hall of Fame at The Culinary Institute of America, Greystone.


An international writer and editor, Contributing Editor Becky Sue Epstein covers wine and spirits as well as food and travel for a several online and print publications  Epstein also conducts seminars and consults in these fields. Among other books, she is the author of Champagne: A Global History.


Elyse Glickman has traveled the world to cover the wine, spirits, restaurant and hospitality industries for a myriad of trade and consumer publications, including  Liquid Living Magazine (where she served as editor-in-chief and co-founder ), Intermezzo, Beauty Store Business,  Food & Beverage, From House to HOME, Lucire, La Reppublica, CSQ, JWest, Fresh Cup, NUVO and others.


Contributing Editor Richard Carleton Hacker is an internationally recognized authority on wines, spirits, cigars and related luxury lifestyles, and is a contributing writer for magazines that include Robb Report, Playboy, Smoke and The Quarterly Review of Wines. He has authored eleven books in the U.S., Great Britain and Germany, is a lifetime member of the Keeper of the Quaich and the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne and was knighted in Germany.


As Texas Editor, Anthony Head gallops across the Lone Star State in search of a good story for the "Lone Star Life" column. A longtime writer for the magazine, Head also contributes feature stories and other material gathered along the dusty trails of his travels (nationally and internationally). In his relaxed time, he becomes The Armchair Oenophile and bestows his "World Pick of the Month" within THE TASTING PANEL'S monthly email newsletter. Read more at


Orange County/San Diego Editor Rich Manning has been writing about the art and business of food, drink, travel and lifestyle pursuits since 2004. While his profession has enabled him to humbly enjoy some remarkably exquisite epicurean adventures, he will always find great joy in the simple pleasures that a perfectly cooked hamburger and a dark, creamy stout routinely bring.


Emily McIntyre is a freelance writer who specializes in covering coffee culture. When not writing, she's usually drinking coffee with her husband (a roaster and Q Grader), and her toddler daughter (who loves cappuccinos).


Florida Editor Kelly Merritt is the author of The Everything Family Guide to Budget Travel and a culinary travel journalist with more than 1,000 stories to her credit. When she isn't writing, Kelly can be found plying the waters of the Florida Everglades and The Ten Thousand Islands with her husband, fishing guide and outdoor writer Captain Kevin Merritt.


Northern California Editor Deborah Parker Wong, AIWS focuses on the global wine and spirits industries with an emphasis on domestic trends. She's a frequent contributor to Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine where she digs in to the "dirt and tractors" side of production technology. Deborah holds the Wine and Spirits Education Trust Diploma and is a certified WSET educator who teaches and conducts educational tastings.  She serves as a judge for several regional, national and international wine competitions each year and is a co author of 1000 Great Everyday Wines, published in 2011 by Dorling Kindersley.


Contributing Editor Robert Plotkin is the editor of the on-line newsletter, BarProfits - Building a Sustainable Bottom Line and author of Successful Beverage Management - Proven Strategies for the On-premise Operator. He can be reached at or by e-mail at


Christopher Sawyer, "Sommelier to the Stars," is a world-renowned sommelier, journalist, wine educator and international wine judge who travels the globe following trends in wine and shares these tasty experiences on his website, Sawyer is also notably the world's only Film Festival Sommelier, pairing wine selections with some of the world's top indy films each year for the Sonoma Valley Film Festival.


Contributing Editor Merrill Shindler is editor of the Zagat Los Angeles Restaurant Survey, and host of CBS Radio's weekly "Feed Your Face" program. He's also the author of American Dish and T he El Cholo Cookbook. He's from the Bronx, where he was raised on deli, pizza and Chinese on Sunday nights. He firmly believes that ketchup is nature's most perfect food.


London Correspondent Steven Spurrier is a world-renowned wine expert who organized the celebrated Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, known as "The Judgment of Paris." He is also the founder of the Académie du Vin and Christie's Wine Course, in addition to authoring and co-authoring several wine books. He is the winner of numerous wine awards, is a regular judge on the international wine tasting circuit and serves as chairman of the Japan Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards..


Contributing Editor Ben Weinberg is a Certified Sommelier and pens "Weinberg's Wine Tech," a column focused on wine technologies in Sommelier Journal, where he is frequently featured.  He also writes for The World of Fine Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Nation's Restaurant News and Wine Country International, among others. Ben is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, teaches at the Colorado Free University, travels extensively to wine country, judges wine contests and conducts seminars at festivals and events all over the world.  His work can be found online at


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