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About Us

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. has been 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 was a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle.  He is a judge for numerous national and international wine competitions.  Contact: [email protected] 

Wayne Belding is the author of "Diving Into Wine" and many articles on all aspects of wine.  In 1990, he became the 13th American to pass the demanding Master Sommelier examination. He has been active in teaching and examining at all levels of the Master Sommelier program.  Wayne has taught wine appreciation classes for over 25 years.   He is a frequent judge at national and international wine competitions, as well as a featured speaker at food and wine festivals.

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 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. 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: [email protected] 

Jessica Dupuy is a journalist who has been publishing on wine and food for more than a decade. She has written for Texas Monthly magazine since 2007, is a regular contributor for Forbes.com, and has written for Imbibe, the Guild of Sommeliers, SevenFifty Daily, Wine Enthusiast, Southern Living, and National Geographic Traveler. She is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a Diploma candidate for the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. Jessica covers food trends for various publications, and has authored six cookbooks. Her latest book, The Wines of Southwest U.S.A., a volume in the Classic Wine Library, covers the emerging wine regions in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.  Contact: [email protected].   Instagram: @JessicaNDupuy, Twitter: @JessicaNDupuy.  

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.

Miranda Franco is an accomplished analyst of the world’s fine wines who has been engaged since 2014 in the education and certification programs of the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust, the Society of Wine Educators and the Napa Wine Academy.  In addition to wine-related travels in the classic regions in the USA and Europe, her searches for new frontiers in wine have taken her to Mexico, Croatia, Hungary, Argentina, Morocco, Chile and the Azores.  She holds an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and, by day, is Senior Policy Advisor in the Washington, D.C. law office of Holland & Knight. Contact:  [email protected]

Michael Franz is editor and a managing partner of Wine Review Online, a freelance contributor to several international wine magazines, instructor for Capital Wine School, and consultant for 12 restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area with combined annual sales of nearly $15 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 judged on six continents, and has conducted more than 1,500 site visits and tastings at wineries around the world. Contact:  [email protected]

Panos Kakaviatos has been writing about wine professionally for 20 years.  A native of Washington D.C., now based in Strasbourg, France, he manages the wine blog wine-chronicles.com and writes for Decanter, The World of Fine Wine and Somm Journal, among other wine publications. Panos is invited regularly to judge at professional tastings and enjoys organizing wine dinners in Europe and in the U.S.   Although his primary focus is French wine, he enjoys tasting in wine regions around the world.  He also has been employed as a sommelier and is working on his WSET diploma.   Contact:  [email protected]

Paul Lukacs was a founding contributor to WineReviewOnline.com, and the author of three books:  Inventing Wine,  The Great Wines of America and  American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine.   American Vintage 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.  He passed away on June 15, 2021 after a lengthy illness.  A remembrance of Paul can be read here:  Paul Lukacs   

.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.  Ed passed away May 2, 2024.  A remembrance of Ed can be read here:  Ed McCarthy

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.  Linda was Managing Editor of WineToday.com, the New York Times' wine web site.. Contact: [email protected].

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: [email protected]

Norm Roby began writing for Vintage Magazine which led to a 10-year run as columnist for The Wine Spectator.  He joined Decanter Magazine in 1993 as a columnist and frequently authored feature articles about California, Northwest, and French wines.  Living part-time in Bordeaux for a decade, he explored and wrote about the wines of Bordeaux, Bergerac, Alsace, the Rhône and the Languedoc.  His additional wine experiences include being wine educator and Dean at the San Francisco Culinary Academy, co-author of The Connoisseurs’ Handbook of California Wine, and Auction Director for Winesong in Mendocino.  He now blogs and contributes to Vinosity.   Contact:  [email protected]

Sandra Taylor
is an expert on sustainability in the food and beverage business.  She holds a Wine MBA from the Ecole de Management de Bordeaux--Kedge Business School, along with a B.A. in French and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.  Among her most recent accomplishments is publication in 2017 of, The Business of Sustainable Wine:  How to Build Brand Equity in a 21st Century Wine Industry. Contact: [email protected]

Marguerite Thomas 
is an award winning photojournalist who was for many years travel editor at The Wine News until the magazine's recent sad demise. She is the author of a cookbook and of two books about wines in the Eastern United States, and is a frequent contributor to national wine magazines. She has judged for a variety of wine competitions, including Critics Challenge International.  

Robert Whitley
was the 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.  He passed away February 3, 2021.  His memory will live on in this publication, in the wine competitions he founded, and in the hearts of his colleagues here and throughout the wine industry.  A remembrance of Robert by friends and colleagues can be read here:  Robert Whitley

Note: Each of WineReviewOnline.com's contributing writers has his or her own policies and shipping addresss for wine samples. Please contact the writer for information for wines to be submitted for review.