Meet the Critics for 2023!
Michael Franz, Chief Wine Judge
Michael Franz is Editor of the acclaimed online publication WineReviewOnline.com (1.2 million visitors per year). He has covered the wine scene for more than 25 years, including a long stint as wine columnist at The Washington Post. Michael is also a contributor to The Tasting Panel, wine consultant to retail establishments in the D.C. area and a frequent judge at major international wine competitions.
Michael Cervin, Chief Spirits Judge
Michael Cervin is author of 11 books on wine, spirits, and other topics. As a critic and journalist, his wine and spirits articles have appeared in Robb Report, Forbes, Wine & Spirits, Vivino, The Hollywood Reporter, Fine Wine & Liquor (China), Decanter (London), Wine Enthusiast, Liquors Magazine (Netherlands), SOMM Journal, Draft, The Tasting Panel, and many other publications. His spirits reviews appear regularly in SpiritsReviewOnline.
Jeff Kralik is an award-winning wine writer and blogger based in Houston, Texas. His wine appreciation started while studying in Strasbourg, France, and blossomed when he later spent many summers as a bicycle tour guide in Europe. His blog, The Drunken Cyclist, established in 2012, is the recipient of numerous awards and has 75,000 subscribers. Jeff is also wine columnist for several monthly wine magazines in Texas and a frequent judge at wine competitions.
Wayne Belding, MS, has written about wine for over 30 years for local and national publications. In 1990, he became the 13th American to pass the Master Sommelier Diploma examination, passing all three parts of the exam on his first attempt. Wayne is a frequent wine reviewer, competition judge and speaker at wine events. He is a partner at Wine Ring, the leading AI-driven personalization software for the wine and spirits industry. He is also the author of “Diving Into Wine,” a guide for wine consumers.
Brianne Cohen is a Los Angeles-based writer, certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant and holder of the WSET Diploma. She has a particular interest in diversity in the wine business, and her reviews and other writing can be found at BrianneCohen.com and on other prominent online publications.
Stacie Hunt is an Emmy and Belding Award-winning TV journalist, and a contrbuting wine-and-food writer to MY LA Lifestyle, Huffington Post and other publications. She is a Certified Silver Pin Sommelier, AIS/WSA, Dame de la Chaine des Rotisseus and co-founder and host of SPLASH Productions and Point Media, producers of wine, cuisine and arts events and exhibitions, video and documentaries. Stacie serves as V.P. of the National Association of Wine Retailers and is a guest professor on food and wine at Cal Poly, USC and UCLA.
Rebecca Murphy was the first female wine steward in Texas and went on to found and produce The Dallas Morning News and TexSom wine competitions. As a wine writer, she has contributed a weekly feature to The Dallas Morning News for many years, is a regular contributor to WineReviewOnline.com, and has written for Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines.
Miranda Franco is a regular contributor to WineReviewOnline. She is an accomplished analyst of the world's fine wines and, since 2014, has been engaged in the education and certification programs of the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), the Society of Wine Educators, and the Napa Wine Academy.
Patrick Comiskey is a senior contributor for Wine & Spritis Magazine, where he serves as chief critic for all domestic wines not from California, and regularly contributes articles devoted to California, Oregon and Washington wine, winegrowing and wine culture.