The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER CONTRIBUTORS It's Official! What a Way to Start the Year! I suppose many of you have heard the news that the Sommelier Journal is alive and well again. When the news that it had suspended publication first came out in October, the word and the melancholy spread like downy mildew on a grapevine. PHOTO: LEIGH CASTELLI I called the publication's founder, David Vogels, and we determined that we could bring it back to life. David, who will stay on as Consulting Editor, has developed a loyal following. Sommelier Journal has gained much respect as an authoritative guide, written for wine professionals by wine professionals, in the seven years he has been publishing the magazine. With that in mind, and the positive reinforcement of my wonderful team, we purchased Sommelier Journal and are reviving it as The SOMM Journal. It will launch this spring. Our plan is to continue its abundant educational aspects; we will align with top wine writers, associations and educators throughout the world. Content will broaden to include more coverage of wine regions, artisan spirits, food trends and useful information for any hospitality professional. The magazine will speak to future working chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and wine retailers as much as it does to those already in the industry. The message from The SOMM Journal will be decidedly educational, but with the leadership of Anthony Dias Blue as Editor-in-Chief and David Gadd as Managing Editor—and myself as Publisher and Editorial Director—it will be as entertaining and pleasingly aesthetic as it will be informative. Meanwhile, enjoy the first issue of THE TASTING PANEL for the New Year. Our theme for 2014 centers around Influencers and Rising Stars: the people who have already changed the scene around them, or those who we forecast to set the pace for years to come. Thanks for all your support and wishing you a Happy New Year. Meridith May Publisher / Editorial Director Mark Boughton's creative lighting techniques, attention to detail, interest in style and composition and constant research have led him to be a top food and travel photographer. He has earned the trust of many leading national restaurant accounts as well as recipe and packaging companies. Mark's love of travel photography has also allowed him the opportunity to discover many of the country's small farms and restaurants, highlighting people, food and beautiful places. Courtney Humiston is a professional writer from New York City driven by a fascination with terroir. A Certified Sommelier and a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, she travels the world in search of wine and beverages that capture the essence of a place. For this month's issue, she talks to a distiller in Sebastopol, California who is paying homage to the rural tradition of his English homeland by making sloe gin.  Kelly Merritt is the author of The Everything Family Guide to Budget Travel and a culinary travel journalist. When she isn't writing, Kelly can be found plying the waters of the world with her husband, fishing guide and outdoor writer Captain Kevin Merritt. Wilfred Wong, Cellarmaster for BevMo! is a 35-year veteran of the wine industry. In his current role at BevMo!, Wong is responsible for the high-volume retailer's overall wine portfolio and also pens the company's monthly newsletter. In addition to his day job, Wilfred writes regular columns in Vineyard & Winery Management magazine and contributes to THE TASTING PANEL. Wilfred lives in San Francisco with his wife, Alice, and their dog Cody. 4  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_001-33.indd 4 12/19/13 9:22 PM

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