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Deborah Parker Wong

Global Wine Editor, SOMM Journal & The Tasting Panel magazines
National Co-editor, Slow Wine Guide USA
Approved Program Provider, Wine & Spirit Education Trust Associate Instructor, Santa Rosa Junior College, Cabrillo College

As global wine editor for sister publications the SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines, Deborah Parker Wong, DipWSET has been writing about the beverage alcohol industry for these and other outlets since 2004. In 2020 she was appointed National Editor, USA for the Slow Wine Guide. She teaches as an associate instructor in the Wine Studies departments at Santa Rosa Junior College and Cabrillo College and owns a Wine & Spirit Education Trust school offering Level 2 and Level 3 certifications. In addition to writing and speaking about wine, she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno with an emphasis in sensory science. Her motto is: To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach. A partial archive of her published work can be found at

Social media contacts:


Instagram - @deborahparkerwong

Facebook -

Linkedin - Twitter - @parkerwong

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Pam Strayer

Co-Editor | Managing Editor and Writer, Slow Wine Guide USA
Pam Strayer is a wine business journalist and wine writer, who formerly specialized as a journalist and editor in health, science and the environment for 30+ years. In 2010 she expanded into wine journalism, focusing at first on organic and biodynamic producers as well as general eco-wine topics. 
She earned a certificate in wine studies at U.C. Berkeley and has also studied at U.C. Davis, and the North American Sommelier Association.
The author of seven published wine apps on organic and biodynamic wines (not currently available), in 2018 she became the conference program director for the International Biodynamic Wine Conference in San Francisco which featured an international roster of acclaimed experts, including regenerative soil health experts Dave and Anne Montgomery, organic and biodynamic pioneer Paul Dolan and Tuscany based organic and biodynamic wine expert Monty Waldin. 
She has also consulted to Vivino, the world’s largest wine app, on organic and biodynamic wines. 
Her writings appear in Seven Fifty Daily, Pix,  Santé, The Tasting Panel, the Biodynamic Association of Northern California (BDANC), Somm India, Santé, VOICES, Full Pour, Grape and Wine magazine,, Wine Business Monthly and more. 
She has given guest lectures and talks at Cabrillo Community College and Santa Rosa Community College, and for community groups in Sonoma and Napa, as well as for Women of the Vine & Spirits, the OIV Wine Marketing Program at U.C. Davis and Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute. 
As an environmental journalist, she previously consulted to Earth Island Institute (David Brower’s last environmental group) and on environment and climate projects for United Nations Environment Programme award winner Huey Johnson and his Resource Renewal Institute (RRI), where she directed and produced YouTube video interviews with leaders in large scale green planning programs in New Zealand, Mexico City, the Netherlands and the EU.
Her environmental journalism, including coverage of environmental justice topics, has appeared in Civil Eats, The New Lede and The Guardian. She is a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists and an active participant in the climate journalism nonprofit Covering Climate Now.
Earlier, she worked frequently in Silicon Valley making pioneering multimedia projects and films for Apple and serving as editor in chief of major health websites where she oversaw all content for WebMD’s genetics channels as editor of, a Jim Clark company. Other clients include the Dalai Lama, Jerry Garcia and the United Nations. 
In wine, she has attended international conferences on wine and the environment, a favorite topic, in France and Italy, learning more about biodiversity and European initiatives and academic research. 
Recent articles have focused on the threat of the spotted lanternfly, impacts of invasive species, government regulations on pesticides, new wastewater standards to protect groundwater, glass recycling, alternative fertilizer (azolla) and sustainability group’s efforts to phase out Roundup.
She also regularly writes about 60-80 wineries for Slow Wine Guide, visiting and tasting at wineries in California and Oregon, and edits the guide, working with its talented team of field contributors on the 400 wineries in the 2024 guide. 
She is a member of the UK-based, international Circle of Wine Writers and a graduate of Smith College.
An archive of all of her articles is available at

Linkedin: https: //
Instagram: @winecountrygeographic


Allison Levine

Allison Levine is the owner of Please The Palate, a boutique agency specializing in marketing and event planning for the wine and spirits industry. Allison holds a master’s degree in international communications with a focus on cross-cultural training from the American University School of International Service. Allison is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and holds a WSET Level 3 Certificate from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). 
As an industry expert, she works with wine regions around the world, organizing trade and media events around the United States. She has traveled extensively and has lived abroad in Italy, Spain, and Mexico where she developed her passion for food and wine. Her work allows her to live life to the fullest and, as a freelance writer, Allison communicates her experiences in articles, as well as in her blog. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in, Winetraveler, California Winery Advisor, Wander with Wonder, BIN (Beverage Industry News), the Napa Valley Register, Alcohol Professor, SommTV Mag, SommJournal, The Tasting Panel Magazine, and more. Allison is the host of the podcast WineSoundtrack USA where she interviews winemakers and winery owners who share their stories, insights and some humorous anecdotes. Allison can also be found on YouTube where she regularly reviews wines in one-minute videos for the Wine Weirdos and hosts a weekly chat about wine on Crush On This.

Instagram: @plsthepalate 


Amber Selene Turpin

Amber Selene Turpin is a freelance food and travel writer based in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She is a regular contributor to The Mercury News, Edible Magazines, 7x7, Marin Living Magazine and the Slow Wine Guide, with work appearing in Bon Appetit, Civil Eats, EatingWell Magazine, and many other publications over the last two decades.

Instagram: @bonanzasprings

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Charles Kelly

Charles Kelly had a career in motion picture production recording sound before transitioning to hospitality, most recently with the ownership of Allumette in Los Angeles (an L A Times top 100 restaurant) which he managed and for which he created the wine list.  More recently, he has had stints in wholesale wine sales, wine production, podcasting and most recently studio ceramics (@kellyceramicsla).  He holds the WSET Diploma and has contributed to the Slow Wine Guide since 2018.

Instagram: @kellyceramicsla


Cindy Rynning

Cindy holds a WSET Level 3 certification and is a freelance wine, food and travel writer who is the founder/owner/author of award-winning wine blog Grape Experiences, one of the Feedspot's 100 Best Wine Blogs You Must Follow in 2023. Cindy engages in national and international wine travels, hosts virtual tastings, attends global trade tastings and media events, meets and interviews winemakers and others who share their stories, and writes about tastings, food and wine pairings, wine travel, and more. She is a member of the esteemed Circle of Wine Writers and her work has been published in Wine Enthusiast, The Tasting Panel Magazine, The Somm Journal and other digital and print publications. Cindy is featured on local television stations including Good Day Chicago Fox 32, WGN-TV Channel 9, The Jam on Chicago's WCIU TV, Good Day Sacramento (The CW31), The Rhode Show WPRI Channel 12,Colorado's Best Fox 31 Denver, Good Day Philadelphia Fox 29, NBC Miami Six in the Mix and Yahoo Finance. She is also the co-host of YouTube's wine video series, Crush On This and is a wine judge in the Central Coast Wine Competition. 
Cindy lives in Paso Robles, California wine country and fuels her passion for wine with travels to regions worldwide, shared conversations that inspire and a chilled bottle of grower Champagne.

Social media handles:
- GrapeExp_Cindy
X - GrapeExp_Cindy
Threads - GrapeExp_Cindy
Facebook - GrapeExperiences
LinkedIn - Cindy Lowe Rynning
Pinterest - crynning


Darlene Hayes

Darlene Hayes, dipWSET and Certified Pommelier™, is a writer and educator based in Northern California. In addition to writing for various publications such as Cider Craft Magazine and at, she is the author of the first modern book on cider cocktails, Cider Cocktails, Another Bite of the Apple. Darlene works as a consultant for the American Cider Association's Certified Cider Professional's program, and is the author of the program's recently released Certified Pommelier™ Study Guide. She is also editor emerita of the small quarterly magazine, Malus, dedicated to cider, apples, and orchards everywhere.



Fred Swan

Fred Swan is a sought-after wine and spirits educator, writer, event sommelier, panelist/moderator, judge, event producer, and consultant to wine regions. He is Associate Professor of Culinary Arts/Wine Studies at San Joaquin Delta College, teaching academic-credit courses on wine regions, sensory analysis, tasting room management, food-and-wine pairing, wine marketing, and more. He also does consumer education events, winemaker events (in-person and virtual), and winery staff education. Previously, he taught private credential courses such was WSET, Certified Specialist of Wine, and French Wine Scholar.
In addition to Slow Wine Guide, his freelance writing and reviews have appeared in many print and online publications, including GuildSomm, SevenFiftyDaily,, The Somm Journal, The Tasting Panel, and
Fred is founder/operator of Wine Writers’ Educational Tours, an acclaimed, annual educational conference for professional wine writers. The events are 3-day deep dives into important wine regions. Each day is packed with seminars and panel-tastings with content delivered by subject matter experts, typically winemakers and growers.
His many certifications include WSET Diploma, Certified Level 3 WSET Educator, Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine, French Wine Scholar, California Wine Appellation Specialist, Sud France Wine Master, Italian Wine Professional. He’s an inductee of the Echansonnerie des Papes, the honorary organization of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. He was also recipient of multiple fellowships by the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.
Instagram: fredswan

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Jusden Aumand

Head of Buying
Tri-Vin Imports – New York, USA

Jusden received invaluable wine-pairing/tasting techniques from appointed Master Sommeliers
in Michelin Star restaurants and 5-star luxury hotels while touring Europe with Lenny Kravitz.
Jusden has over 13 years of experience in the wine industry encompassing buying, sourcing,
winemaking, and marketing.
Jusden is currently the Head of Buying for Tri-Vin Imports out of New York. The company is one
of the largest and fastest growing family-owned national importers and distributors of wine and
spirits in the USA. He is also the founder and sales director of his own wine logistics company
The Wine Handlers. Recently, Jusden held a position with Coles Liquor Group in Melbourne
Australia. Jusden was in charge of sourcing and managing all international wines for four
banners that encompass over 900 stores. Previous roles include managing and developing the
Exclusive/Private Label wine portfolio, Bordeaux, sake, and vermouth categories for Bevmo!
corporate. Additionally, Jusden was the assistant winemaker for El Sol Winery in Livermore
Valley CA for 4+ years supported with various Oenology courses at UC Davis.
Jusden is WSET Level III Advanced in wine and a Certified Sake Professional. He was the lead
on the Coles Quality Tasting Panel and also was part of the Bevmo! Wine Tasting Panel. Jusden
is a professional wine judge and has regularly participated in major competitions throughout
the USA, France and Australia.
Jusden resides in Washington State with his wife, and two daughters. In his free time, he
collects/plays vintage drums from the 1920’s, enjoys mountain biking, and contemplates when
to open bottles from his Bordeaux wine collection.


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Laurie Love

Laurie Love, WSET L3, CSW, FWS, is a professional wine writer and educator based in Santa Cruz, CA. Laurie currently is the regular wine columnist for Lookout Santa Cruz, a local all-digital news platform. She also writes a wine blog, Laurie Loves Wine. For the last several years, Laurie is a field coordinator and contributor to the Slow Wine Guide USA highlighting wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Laurie partners with Deborah Parker Wong, DipWSET, to teach wine classes at the Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA., and for WSET Global. Laurie also is the author of the content of, an online wine education companion to the Cabrillo College Wine program. She also teaches private wine classes and leads private tastings. In addition, Laurie works locally in wine production with Santa Cruz Mountains AVA winery Bottle Jack Wines. Laurie holds several professional wine certifications: WSET Level 3, French Wine Scholar, Certified Specialist of Wine, and Sommelier, plus all 3 Cabrillo College Wine Certificates.

 Instagram: @LaurieLoveOnWine



Linda Naughton

Field Coordinator, New York

Linda traveled solo around the world videoing cooking schools, often at wineries, and those videos can be viewed at:  She worked in the California wine business, on and off, for 25 years and, after returning to NY, started an indigenous food blog:  Naughton is a Digital Media judge for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She lives in New York’s Finger Lakes region, with her rescue pup, and enjoys field coordinating for the Slow Wine Guide USA.



Mary Beth Vierra

Mary Beth Vierra, founder of Crush Course, Certified Wine Educator, Italian Wine Ambassador (VinItaly Academy) and Italian Wine Scholar (Wine Scholar Guild) is a wine educator, writer, and speaker. She is sought for her expertise in world wine regions and terroir impacts, California wines, Italian wines, and the dynamics of food and wine pairing. 

A 16-year veteran in the wine industry, she is recognized for exciting curiosity of the wine enthusiast and deepening actionable expertise of industry pros. Mary Beth develops and leads dynamic wine education programs and hosts classes, tours, tastings and paired meals in the US and Italy for industry teams and wine enthusiasts.  

Mary Beth is a feature writer and virtual host for winery clients, Italian importers (presenting in both Italian and English), her blog Crush Notes, and is a contributing writer to the Slow Wine Guide USA. She also provides spokesperson training to winery leaders and is sought as a wine judge, including for Sunset International Wine Competition.

Mary Beth is fluent in Italian after having lived La Dolce Vita in Italy for five years. She holds the Master Degree in Rhetoric and Communications. 

Prior to founding Crush Course, for 11 years, Mary Beth managed product education for E & J Gallo Winery. She developed and led wine & spirits training programs, classes, and educational tours through California, Washington, and Italy, training international sales and hospitality teams. She developed trade education across brands, and directed their online education platforms –Gallo Wine Academy & Gallo Spirits Academy 

Mary Beth lives in view of the vines in Healdsburg, nestled in northern California’s premier wine growing region of Sonoma County. 

Social Media:  @crushcoursewine    @Mary Beth Vierra

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Nancy Croisier

Nancy Croisier is the owner of Pacific Northwest based VinoSocial LLC. With close to fifteen years in wine sales and marketing, she works to connect celebrated wine brands, wine regions, and wine shops with consumers. As a writer, her work can be found in the Slow Wine Guide USA, Washington Tasting Room Magazine, Explore Washington State and on her own website. Nancy also serves as Vice President on the board of Seattle Urban Wineries. She is a graduate of Northwest Wine Academy and a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband.

Instagram: @vinosocialnancy

X: @vinosocialnancy


Neal D. Hulkower, Ph.D

Neal D. Hulkower, Ph.D., is an applied mathematician and freelance writer living in McMinnville, Oregon. While he has been writing regularly about wine-related topics since 2009, his first contributions to a wine publication appeared in Vintage in the early 1970s. His wine writing can be found in academic, trade, and popular publications including the Journal of Wine Research, the Journal of Wine Economics, American Wine Society Wine Journal, Oregon Wine Press, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wine Press Northwest, The Grapevine, and The World of Fine Wine and on,, and He focuses on applications of mathematics to the world of wine, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and reviews of wine-related books. He also enjoys covering wine events and personalities. Neal has been a Field Coordinator for the Slow Wine Guide USA since 2019. He is a member of the American Wine Society, the American Association of Wine Economists, and the Circle of Wine Writers. Previously, he was a senior executive at MCR and occupied three executive positions including President and CEO at RAF Technology. He also held positions of increasing responsibility at JPL, TRW, and MITRE. In addition, he taught mathematics at six colleges and universities. Neal can occasionally be found pouring some of Oregon’s finest in a tasting room at the top of the Dundee Hills

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