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About Us

We believe we have assembled a veritable all-star team of respected wine journalists. Our crew is not only experienced in the wines of the world, but insightful, entertaining and funny, too!

It is our goal to deliver the very finest in wine evaluation, information and education. We hope you will visit often (though our publication schedule is weekly, we will offer a daily wine pick) and take advantage of the expertise of our great team. You can send questions or comments to any of our columnists at the email addresses appearing in the bios below.

It is our hope that you will embrace Wine Review Online and make it your No. 1 resource for credible information and recommendations on wine.


Michael Apstein, M.D., is a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, a wine educator for more than 20 years, a freelance contributor to many national magazines, James Beard Award winner for wine writing, former wine columnist for the Boston Globe, and a judge for numerous national and international wine competitions. Contact: Michael.Apstein1@gmail.com

Gerald D. Boyd has been writing about wine and spirits since 1968. He is the former Editor of The Wine Spectator and was a staff wine writer for The San Francisco Chronicle. Gerald currently is a regular contributor to Decanter, The Wine News, Quarterly Review of Wines and Winestate of Australia, as well as the trade magazines Vineyard & Winery Management and Hotel Food & Beverage Executive. Gerald also is an adjunct wine instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Jim Clarke is a freelance writer and former sommelier with a long list of publications in World of Fine Wine, The Wine Spectator, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Beverage Media, Star Chefs, and Forbes.com. Jim studied wine with the American Sommelier Association and worked as sommelier and wine director in New York for several years, initially at Megu, a high-end Japanese restaurant, and then at Armani Ristorante. In September 2013 he left the restaurant industry to join Wines of South Africa, where he now works as Marketing Manager.

Rich Cook has been writing about wine since 2008 at www.winewiseweb.com. He currently serves as the Director of the San Diego County Fair Wine Competitions and is the Director of  Robert Whitley's Challenge Wine Competitions. He is a panelist with the California Grapevine and has been the Chief Judge at the Monterey International Wine Competition since 2011. Contact: winewiseguy@me.com

Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW, is co-author of Wine for Dummies and six other books, president of International Wine Center, executive director of U.S. programs for the Wine & Spirit Educational Trust, president of the Institute of Masters of Wine (North America) and wine columnist for The New York Daily News and the trade magazines Nation's Restaurant News and Beverage Dynamics.

Michael Franz is editor and managing partner of Wine Review Online, editor of Sommelier magazine, a freelance contributor to several international wine magazines, instructor for Capital Wine School, and consultant for 13 restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area with combined annual sales of $11 million. He wrote as wine columnist for The Washington Post for 11 years before leaving to edit WRO, has served as Chief Judge for four different wine competitions, and has conducted more than 1,400 site visits and tastings at wineries around the world. Contact: michael@franzwine.com

Paul Lukacs is author of several books including Inventing Wine and The Great Wines of America. Paul's first book, American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine, won the three major wine Book of the Year awards in 2001 -- the James Beard Foundation, Champagne Veuve Clicquot, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Ed McCarthy is author of Champagne for Dummies and co-author of Wine For Dummies, White Wine For Dummies, Red Wine For Dummies, Wine Buying Companion For Dummies, French Wine For Dummies, and Italian Wine For Dummies, as well as regular contributor to QRW magazine, and columnist for Nation's Restaurant News and Beverage Media. He and Mary Ewing-Mulligan co-authored WINE STYLE, published in October 2005.

Linda Murphy is the co-author of American Wine with Jancis Robinson. She lives in Sonoma County and is the West Coast correspondent for Decanter magazine and U.S. correspondent for JancisRobinson.com. She also contributes to Food & Wine magazine, Epicurious.com and the San Francisco Chronicle, where she was the wine editor from 2003 to 2006 and won two James Beard Awards for best food/wine section. Before joining the Chronicle, Linda was Managing Editor of WineToday.com, the New York Times' wine web site. In a previous career, she was a sportswriter at the San Diego Union newspaper, but gave up that beer-and-a-shot world for fine wine. Contact: Linda@LindaMurphyWine.com

Rebecca Murphy was the first female wine steward in Texas, and went on to found and produce The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition, now the TexSom International Wine Awards. She has judged many national and international wine competitions. As a writer, she has contributed a weekly feature to The Dallas Morning News for many years, and has written for Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines in addition to furnishing entries for The Oxford Companion to Wine and the sixth edition of The World Atlas of Wine. Contact: murphymarton@att.net

Marguerite Thomas is travel editor for The Wine News, and author of a monthly column, "The Intrepid Gastronome," for The Los Angeles Times International Syndicate. She is author of a cookbook and of two books about wines in the Eastern U.S., and is a frequent contributor to national wine magazines. Contact: mthomaswine@gmail.com

James Tidwell, MS, CWE, is currently Beverage Manager and Sommelier at Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving, Texas. He is a sommelier representative on Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ core wine committee, and is the Lead Sommelier on the corporate beverage committee. In 2009, he passed the prestigious Master Sommelier examination, and in 2003 passed the Certified Wine Educator Exam on the first attempt, earning the highest score out of the hundreds of candidates who took the exam that year. James is also the co-founder of TEXSOM, North America’s preeminent wine educational conference. Contact: winejames@yahoo.com

Robert Whitley is publisher and managing partner of Wine Review Online, author of "Wine Talk," a column syndicated nationally by the Creators Syndicate, a monthly contributor to the Reuters "Vine Talk" column, and director of the following international wine competitions: Critics Challenge, Sommelier Challenge, Winemaker Challenge and San Diego Challenge. (www.CriticsChallenge.com, www.SommelierChallenge.com, www.WinemakerChallenge.com, www.SanDiegoWineChallenge.com).
Contact: whitleyonwine@yahoo.com, http://twitter.com/wineguru

Wilfred Wong has been writing about wine for national publications for more than three decades. Wilfred probably judges more wine competitions than any other person alive, and travels the globe extensively in pursuit of interesting and outstanding wines. He recently retired from the national chain Beverages & More (BevMo), where he was Cellar Master since 1995, to become "Chief Storyteller" for Wine.com.

Note: Each of Wine Review Online's contributing writers has his or her own policies regarding wine samples. Please contact the writer for information including shipping address for wines to be submitted for review.