Our talented contributors are an essential part of what makes The Somm Journal so special. The following of are some of our regular contributing editors. Look for profiles of other contributors in each issue of the magazine.

Bob Bath, MS, has spent more than 30 years in the wine and food industry managing wine-oriented restaurants (including two Wine Spectator Grand Award establishments) and teaching thousands around the world about wine. He has worked with a formidable list of California wineries that includes Shafer Vineyards, Duckhorn Vineyards, Dalla Valle Vineyards, Viader Winery, Hartwell Vineyards, Iron Horse Vineyards, Trefethen Winery, Morgan Winery, and Charles Krug Winery. In 2000, Mr. Bath established The RLB Wine Group and has developed wine education programs for high-profile companies like Marriott Hotels, Crystal Cruise Lines, Taj Hotels, and Kendall-Jackson Estates. He then launched Robert Bath Imports, which specializes in artisan New Zealand wines. Mr. Bath also writes for Santé magazine and is a frequent speaker at wine festivals around the world.

Randy CaparosoRandy Caparoso began his restaurant career in 1974, and now makes his living as a wine journalist from a vineyard cottage in Lodi. As a founding partner and former vice president of the Roy's family of restaurants, he was Santé's first Restaurant Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year (1998), and Restaurant Wine's Wine Marketer of the Year (1992 & 1999).

Christie Dufault is a San Francisco-based sommelier and wine educator. She is member of the faculty at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, where she has been an instructor for ten years. She is also a guest lecturer at the San Francisco Wine School. Previously, Christie worked as the wine director for some of the nation's finest restaurants including Gary Danko in San Francisco, where her list earned the Grand Award from Wine Spectator . As Head Sommelier at Quince, Christie was awarded "Best Wine Director 2007" by San Francisco magazine. In 2009, Christie helped open RN74 in San Francisco, a Michael Mina restaurant. In 2012 Christie co-authored a cookbook, Two in the Kitchen , with her husband, the writer Jordan Mackay.

Catherine Fallis Master Sommelier at Planet Grape LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, education, entertainment, and sommelier services, Catherine Fallis created her trademarked alter-ego, grape goddess, to help bring wine down to earth for consumers as well as those entering the wine industry. She is the only person in the world to hold both the Master Sommelier and Advanced Certified Wine Professional credentials, is one of a handful of women in the world to professionally open Champagne with a sword, and is a wine advisor to restaurants  and wine bars. 

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.

Karen MacNeil Karen MacNeil, one of the foremost wine experts in the United States, is the author of the award-winning book, The Wine Bible, recognized as "the most comprehensive and authoritative book on wine written by an American author." Karen is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English Language including the James Beard award for Wine Professional of the Year (in 2004). Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, Fine Wine, USA Today and Town & Country. An educator at heart, Karen is the creator and Chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley. She holds an Advanced Certified Wine Professional Degree. Find our more at her website.

Deborah Parker Wong, DWSET is Global Wine Editor for The Tasting Panel, The Somm Journal and The Clever Root magazines, where she reports on the wine and spirits industries with an emphasis on trends. She holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma and, as the Director of Education for Discover Wine and Spirits Academy, she teaches WSET certification courses and is an adjunct professor in the wine studies program at Santa Rosa Junior College. In addition to writing and speaking about wine, Deborah judges wine competitions and scores wine for Planet Grape Wine Review. Her motto is: To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach.

David Ransom has been involved in the production, promotion and marketing of wines and spirits for more than 25 years. His career in the industry started when he and his family founded New York's legendary Rivendell Winery in the 1980s. Since his first article was published in The Tasting Panel (January 2009), his body of work now spans print, web and radio. He can be reached at

Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier, wine educator, journalist, consultant, critic and public speaker: He travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a VIP judge in the world's top wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide range of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Redbook, The Hollywood Reporter, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, CNN and Esquire.

London Correspondent Steven Spurrieris 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.

Amy Zavatto's writing about wine, coffee, spirits and food has appeared in Every Day with Rachael Ray and Edible Manhattan and on, and many others. She is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bartending and A Hedonist Guide to Eat New York, and co-authored The Renaissance Guide to Wine & Food Pairing. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Wines & Spirits from the WSET in London. She lives in New York City.

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