Meet Our 2013 Judges
Jessica, 27, is a leading online wine social media and video pioneer, traveling the world to spread the conversation about wine in a non-pretentious way. Ms. Altieri is the founder, CEO and Certified Sommelier for WineChannelTVand has worked with some of the world’s leading wine brands, governments and trade associations. She is the Wine Lifestyle Correspondent for ABC7 Chicago, Windy City Live and was selected as the 2012 “Wine with Walgreens” Up-Market Grand Opening and Lifestyle Experience promotional partner for in-store and online Social Media campaigns with a Facebook Fan reach of over 1 million fans and a retail store base of over 7000 stores. Jessica was also named as the Official Wine Ambassador for the Sears Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago (over 400,000 Facebook Fans), the Social Wine Ambassador for the world famous Saratoga Wine and Food & Fall Ferrari Festival and the as Social Wine Ambassador host for the Italian Trade Commission and Vino 2011 and 2010 events, which are the largest Italian Wine Festivals in the USA.
Carl is currently the President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA) (formerly the Vinifera Wine Growers Association (VWGA)), a trade group that helps promote the wine industry. He has served as co-chairman of the July 2005-2011 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competitions sponsored by ASWA. Carl is also a past President/Chairman of the Washington, DC Chapter of the German Wine Society and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Carl is a longstanding member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and an AWS-certified wine judge. As the current AWS Regional Vice President for Virginia, he assists in the formation of new chapters and supports current chapters through educational seminars. Carl travels extensively to wine regions in the United States, and has visited wine areas in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada. Carl is a 1964 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and holds Master Degrees in International Relations (American University-1970) and Public Administration (George Washington University-1973). He currently resides in Virginia.
Patrick “Chip” Cassidy
Chip Cassidy has been a judge at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair since 1994, always accepting the invitation to come to the wine country and judge at his favorite wine competition! In addition to the Harvest Fair, he has been a judge at the International Wine Review, Atlanta Wine Festival, West Coast Championships, Grand Harvest Awards, Chronicle Wine Competition and the American Fine wine Competition. He is an instructor at Florida International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, teaching students about all aspects of the wine trade, buyer or manager, the economics of buying and selling wine, proper way of storing, serving and managing a restaurant. While there he created the Wine & Spirits Certificate class. He is also the wine buyer and consultant for Crown Liquors of Broward, Inc. He has won numerous awards, achieving Retailer of the Year in 1988, 1990 and 1993. He has visited many wine regions through the United States, Europe and Australia. In addition, he is an accomplished writer, writing several articles for the Friends of Wine magazine, The Wine News, South Florida Gourmet, and published his own book in 2001 Chip Cassidy’s Wine Travels.
Barbara Ensrud is a freelance journalist who has authored two books, Wine and Food and American Vineyards. She is also a wine educator at Duke University. She has been a judge for three decades, judging at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair on and off over a 12 year span. She has also judged at many major national competitions, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dan Diego, Dallas and New York. Her articles have appeared in Food and wine, Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, GQ, Decanter and numerous others.
David Glancy is the Founder and Chief Education Officer of San Francisco Wine School. He is one of only 12 people in the world to pass both the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Master exam (MS) and the Society of Wine Educators’ Certified Wine Educator exam (CWE). Glancy has also passed the Certified Specialist of Spirits exam (CSS) and French Wine Scholar exam (FWS). He launched San Francisco Wine School in June 2011. The school provides professional wine studies including French Wine Scholar (FWS), Society of Wine Educators’ programs (SWE), California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and much more. Glancy also runs SFsommelier Consulting and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Sommelier Journal. Previously, he created, managed and taught the Certified Sommelier Program at the Professional Culinary Institute (now known as French Culinary Institute California). During that time, he secured the partnership for the school with the Court of Master Sommeliers and helped over 400 students pass the Court of MS’ Certified Sommelier exam (CS). Glancy also taught wine and business management at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He has worked in the industry for over 15 years, working throughout the U.S. and in Asia and has traveled to many of the wine regions of the world. His first love was a glass of Vouvray, soon followed by another glass. Today he could happily live on Champagne alone.
Barry H. Gump, Ph.D.
Dr. Barry H. Gump is the first holder of the Harvey R. Chaplin Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Beverage Management at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. In this position Dr. Gump is developing new classes and programs to expand the offerings of the Beverage Management curriculum. Dr. Gump is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Enology at California State University, Fresno, where he taught courses in chemistry, brewing, and wine analysis for almost 40 years. He has also instructed a “Wine Components” class and “Wine Analysis” classes for the wine education program housed at Santa Rosa Junior College (Santa Rosa, CA), and on-line wine chemistry/analysis classes for Grayson Community College (Dennison, TX), and Harrisburg Community College (Harrisburg, PA). He also gives workshops, seminars, and lectures to grape and wine industry groups. Dr. Gump has had a long association (over thirty years) with the wine industry, conducting research in analytical methodology applied to grapes, juices, and wines. He has led fifty-nine Masters Degree graduate research committees, and served on many more. Dr. Gump reviews technical manuscripts for a number of national, international, and trade publications. He has been a professional wine judge for many years at a number of major wine competitions.
Ellen is a published Wine Writer, Certified Sommelier, Certified Wine Specialist, and Wine Educator. She is the author of the blog EllenOnWine.com and writes for the AWS Wine Journal (AmericanWineSociety.org), among several other publications. As Wine Director and Sommelier at Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn located in Half Moon Bay, which she co-owns husband and Chef Ken Landis, she continually seeks out interesting and noteworthy wines to enhance their extensive wine cellar. Ellen was also the sommelier at the Ritz Carlton for 4 years. She has traveled to many wine regions throughout North America, Australia and Europe. Ellen also participates as a key speaker, moderator and panelist at various wine events. She has served as a judge at over sixteen national and international wine competitions throughout the United States.
Paul Lukacs is a wine writer, educator, and advisor. Currently a columnist for a metropolitan newspaper and an on-line site, he also is the author of two prize-winning books: The Great Wines of America: The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages and American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine. Since 1994, Lukacs has written features, columns, and individual wine profiles for The Washington Times on a weekly basis. From 2002 to 2005, he served as the wine columnist for Washingtonian magazine. In 2007 and 2008, he served as wine editor for Saveur magazine. Lukacs has traveled to many of the world’s most important winegrowing regions, and he evaluates literally thousands of wines every year. He has taught numerous wine appreciation and education classes. Since 1999 he has worked as a consultant for restaurants in the Washington, D. C. area, helping select wines for wine lists, pair wine with menu items, and train wait staff. Lukacs also has served as a judge at numerous wine competitions, both in America and in Europe Paul Lukacs also serves as a professor of English at Loyola University Maryland. His academic specialty is 19th Century American literature, and he has published in leading academic journals in that field. He lives in Baltimore.
Charles F. Mara
A nationally recognized wine judge, winery producer/owner and wine merchant, Charles F. Mara is a force within the wine industry. Having traveled to many of the world's most prestigious wine regions, he is a well respected and knowledgeable wine guru who brings to table a love of wine. Wine judge for numerous prestigious wine tastings, as well as serving on several wine tasting panels, Professor of Oenology and member of the Society of Wine Educators, he has also appeared on local TV and Radio shows, was appointed as the Consumer Representative by the Governor of New York to the State Wine Grape Marketing Order Advisory Board, and has been a "Tastemaster" for monthly wine tasting events designed to increase wine awareness and appreciation by consumers. His knowledge has also led him to be a consultant to many restaurateurs and retailers. Charles is also noticed, not once but twice, in the Guinness Book of World Records. One listing is "most paid for a single bottle of wine," - an 1806 Lafite-Rothschild for $28,000 (1978) - and the other is "most paid for a bottle case of American wine" - 1979 Opus I for $24,000 (1981).
Elin McCoy is an award-winning journalist and author, focusing on the world of wine. She is a wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News, where she writes a bimonthly column for their global news wire as well as a monthly column forBloomberg Markets, and a columnist at Zesterdaily.com. McCoy’s most recent book is The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste, which garnered international praise and has appeared in five foreign editions. She is also the co-author of Thinking About Wine, as well as several children’s books, a parenting book, and a travel guide. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, McCoy attended graduate school at the University of London and New York University. She was a contributing editor on wine at Food & Wine for 25 years and has been a columnist and writer for many national publications. She serves regularly as a wine judge in many American and international competitions, appears on radio and television, and is a frequent speaker at wine industry events. Elin McCoy is at work on a new book set in California. When not traveling, she lives in Kent, Connecticut with her husband, writer/artist John Frederick Walker.
Deborah Parker Wong
Deborah Parker Wong, AIWS is Northern California editor for The Tasting Panel magazine where she reports on the global wine and spirits industries with an emphasis on domestic trends. In addition, she contributes frequently to Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, Cheers magazine, Sommelier Journal and writes a lively drinks column for Examiner.com. Deborah holds a marketing degree from San Francisco State University and was awarded the Wine and Spirits Education Trust’s Diploma in 2009. She lectures for SOPEXA USA and is a professional wine competition judge. Her affiliations include the Wine and Spirits Education Trust as an Associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits (AIWS), the London-based Circle of Wine Writers and the Wine Media Guild of New York. Deborah resides in San Francisco with her husband Robert and children Camille and Devon.
Ben Pearson is the General Manager and Wine Buyer for Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa. He has judged at various competitions for over 15 years. Most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, North of the Gate Wine Competition as well as the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Prior to his position at the Bottle Barn, Ben spent 6 years in the wine retail business in West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. He currently resides in Santa Rosa.
Dr. Gerry Richie
Dr. Richie is a Professor of Enology at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California. She has over 15 years experience judging professional wine as many competitions throughout California, including the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Monterey County Fair, Paso Robles County Fair, Santa Barbara County Fair, California State Fair and Riverside International Wine Competition. She has judged at the Harvest Fair for the past two years. Dr. Richie has had 30 years experience as a professor and 17 years experience as a winemaker. She started out as a soil scientist at the University of Western Australia before “seeing the light” and changing to winemaking. She has made wines for Roederer, Bouchaire, and Treasury Wine Estates. She has taught winemaking at Napa Valley College and currently teaches at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Fred Tasker's life quest is to taste a glass of wine from every state, region, country in which it is made. It has taken him through the vineyards of California, Washington, New York, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, even Uzbekistan, where it's so cold they cut down the vines after the harvest, cover them with rocks and start over every spring. To wine-judging competitions in California, Texas, New York and Italy where you can taste 150 wines in a day if your palate holds up. In his day job, Fred has written about the City of Miami, Metro Government, aviation, business, urban affairs, religion, medicine and yes, food and wine. His lament: So many wines, so little time.
Marguerite Thomas is an award-winning photo-journalist specializing in wine, food and travel. She offers weekly blogs and wine reviews at www.winereviewonline.com, where she is also co-writer of Wine With, a bi-weekly food and wine pairing feature. She is a columnist at Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine, North America's leading independent wine trade publication. She has written a cookbook, and two books about wines of the Eastern United States. As travel editor at The Wine News for almost twenty years she contributed monthly feature articles, and she wrote a monthly column about food and wine for the Los Angeles Times International Syndication. Her work regularly appears in scores of publications, including Decanter, Santé, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, National Geographic Traveler, The Los Angeles Times, and Garden Design. She frequently serves as a judge in national and international wine competitions. She teaches wine tasting and education classes, and has been a speaker and panelist at various universities and conferences. She is currently creating a series of food and wine applications for smart phones. She belongs to several professional organizations including the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), Les Dames d'Escoffier, the New York Wine Press, and the New York Wine Media Guild. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.