Voted the world's most influential wine critic in polls in the US, France and internationally in 2018, Jancis views herself as a wine writer rather than a wine critic. She writes daily for JancisRobinson.com and weekly for the Financial Times. She is founder-editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine(4.7 million copies sold just before the 8th edition was published in October 2019)and co-author of Wine Grapes, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide. The 24-Hour Wine Expert(2017) is a slim paperback guide to the practical essentials of wine.
She travels all over the world to conduct wine events – often for the global literacy initiative Room to Read - and in 2018 launched her own hand-made, dishwasher-friendly, ideal wine glass. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises. In one week in April 2016 she was presented with France's Officier du Mérite Agricole, the German VDP's highest honour and, in the US, her fourth James Beard Award. She now has six, including being the only wine writer elevated to the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.
She loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.
Julia is a key member of the team and has been crucial to maintaining the high editorial standards of this site. See here for full details of her glorious career. As a relatively recent top pass in the punishing Master of Wine exams (she took them in 2003 and passed first time with flying colours, and gained a distinction for her dissertation in 2004), she is particularly up to speed on oenological and viticultural matters and is also prepared to tackle the complexities of wine legislation head on. In 2009 she won a Special Award in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, she was Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year in 2012 and is co-author, with José Vouillamoz and Jancis, of the multi award-winning Wine Grapes – a complete guide to 1,368 grape varieties including their origins and flavours. She is much in demand as a mentor for Master of Wine students.
Richard has been a major contributor to the site since 2008, during which time he documented the entire six years it took him to become a Master of Wine. You can read about his eventual success here. In a past life he worked for Majestic Wine and has been a finalist in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writer Awards, Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards and the Young Wine Writers Awards. He has also been published by The Financial Times, The Drinks Business, Harper's, Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, Noble Rot and Meininger's Wine Business International and is a regular columnist in Drinks Retailing News.
Tamlyn writes delightfully. She has a particular interest in sustainability, food-and-wine pairing, beverages other than wine, and artisan producers. Every year she pores over dozens of wine books, reviewing them with reverential respect for the time and sacrifice it takes to write a book, and ruthless attention to detail (pity the author who submits a badly written book). Her great loves are wines off the beaten track, Eastern Europe, Languedoc and Roussillon, and German wine (for which she blames Michael Schmidt entirely). She also adores vermouth and cocktails with a bitter twist. Negroni is her brunch drink, if Bloody Mary isn't on tap. She'll eat anything – at least once. She shone in the WSET Diploma exams and is a keen taster. Like Julia, she is a particular stickler for detail and consistency. If you don't like metaphors, steer clear of her tasting notes.
Nick, he who must be obeyed, is Mr Jancis Robinson and the Financial Times restaurant critic, super-chef, and food service consultant to all manner of arts organisations and developments. His book The Art of the Restaurateur was voted a Book of the Year in 2012 by The Economist and his second book On the Menu about restaurant menus was published in 2016. He kindly supplies Nick on restaurants every Saturday, and we prefer to keep him incognito for his restaurant reviewing – hence the silhouette.
Our Italian specialist Walterhas worked with Italian wine for many years, including a stint as buyer at the Michelin-starred Le Pont de la Tour in London. Walter has written for us since 2008, and he also contributes to TheWorld Atlas of Wine, TheOxford Companion to Wine and Decanter magazine. Walter is based in southeast London and Padova in Italy.
Michael is our German specialist, who after 35 years of selling, teaching, judging and writing about wine in the UK now lives in the Ahr Valley in Germany. He also contributes to the World Atlas of Wine, and in Germany writes for the Tre Torri wine book series, FINE das Weinmagazin, Weinwisser and Süddeutsche Zeitung. See Michael's 20th anniversary video.
Ferran is our Spanish specialist, who was the sommelier at the world-renowned El Bulli for 13 years until its closure. He is chef Ferran Adrià's wine man, writing substanital books for the elBullifoundation and is also a judge at international wine competitions. He is extremely well known by the Spanish wine establishment, is an educator and has even dabbled in making wine himself. See both Ferrans on this 20th anniversary video.
Elaine Chukan Brown joined JancisRobinson.com in 2015 to dramatically beef up our coverage of American wine. After a stint as a commercial fisherman in her native Alaska she became an academic philosopher, writing a dissertation on what it means to be indigenous (topical for students of vine varieties). You can read more about her unique approach to wine in Introducing Elaine Chukan Brown. In 2020, after hosting a very successful series of webinars devoted substantially to California wine, she was voted IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year. See also her 20th anniversary video message and this hour-long webinar in which she interviewed Jancis to celebrate that milestone.
Tim qualified as a Master of Wine in 2017 and is a refugee from the world of finance. He read Chemistry at Oxford and gained an MBA at London Business School in 2004. A keen sportsman, he is also a particularly assiduous recorder of tasting notes which you can see in his winebook. You can read more about him here, and in his autobiographical entry in our 2018 wine writing competition. He is based in London and travels widely throughout the wine world, particularly with fellow MWs. He is on the IMW’s Education Committee, helping set the practice tasting papers for student seminars, an important role. In September 2020 he took on a role as head of marketing for Amathus Drinks in the UK so he will no longer be writing about other UK importers or retailers but will continue to share his impressions from his wine travels and non-commecial tastings. See his 20th anniversary video.
Having studied modern languages, particularly Spanish, at Newcastle University, Alistair moved to Chile and Argentina in 2002 where he lived for four years, working for wineries in export management. Moving back to the UK in 2006, he ventured into all aspects of trading from managing, buying and consulting for wine bars and restaurants to importing and wholesaling wines. Having passed the WSET Diploma in 2011 as the top student, he was awarded the Derouet Jameson Scholarship. He went on to study for the Master of Wine and in 2017 passed the final part of the examination with a research paper focused on the southern Chilean region of Itata. Alistair now works as a freelance wine consultant and writer. He is a regular judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards and is a panel chair for the International Wine & Spirit Competition, as well as President of South America’s most prestigious wine competition, the Cata d’Or Wine Awards. Alistair is in South America several times a year, judging, educating and consulting. He also works as the consultant wine buyer for the Australian company United Cellars, Australia’s largest independent wine merchant, for whom he sniffs out wines of real interest, just as we hope he will for visitors to JancisRobinson.com. See this video shot on the hill of Hermitage in October 2020.
Tom started working in the wine industry while reading modern languages at Oxford. He joined Farr Vintners permanently in 2011, where he is now a buyer. In 2018 Tom became the youngest MW in the world (he turned 30 in March 2018) after passing all three stages of the qualification at the first attempt. In 2019 he was named the Young Achiever of the Year by The Drinks Business. See his rather touching 20th anniversary video message.
Matthew Hayes has lived in Dijon with his French wife and family for more than 20 years. He has worked variously for Berry Bros & Rudd and fine-wine brokers Fine + Rare in London, Moët & Chandon in Epernay and a prominent wine merchant in Burgundy. But he found his time working at Willi’s Wine Bar and Juveniles in Paris even more valuable for opening his eyes to the great wide world of wine rather than simply the classics and investment-grade wines – about which he has a decidedly sceptical view. A 2008 road accident in Meursault left him paraplegic and channelled his obvious aptitude for writing into a blog leglessinburgundy. His company Albion Vins Fins imports Italian wine into France where he also represents a certain range of glassware. He is currently a Master of Wine student whose life story is told far more eloquently by Matthew himself here.
Sam has been writing about production for JancisRobinson.com since her ‘Diary of a Willamette cellar rat’ series in 2019. Since then, she has worked four harvests (bouncing hemispheres), collected her DipWSET, been shortlisted for a Roederer International Wine Writers Award, and, most recently, entered into the MW programme. Her interests are firmly rooted in regenerative farming and fair worker treatment. She believes a winemaker is only as good as their vineyard crew and that ‘unskilled labour’ doesn’t exist in superlative viticulture.
Paula Redes Sidore originally came to Germany for the adventure; she stayed for the wine. Paula holds an MFA in creative writing, and wine qualifications in both German and English. Her time in Berlin coincided with the capital’s transformation from beer to natural-wine mecca, reminding her that even the most intransigent are capable of change. And so, following positions at several high-end wine establishments, she took the leap of blending her love for words and wine. First with Weinstory, a creative content and translation agency for the wine industry; and then in October 2020 with the co-founding of Trink magazine. You can read more about her approach to wine and words here and here. She and her family live on the northern boundary of winegrowing on the Rhine, outside of Bonn, Germany.
Our third columnist joined us in August 2013, writing monthly about matters Australian. Max is a highly garlanded writer based in Melbourne, author of several very successful books and regular contributor to a number of print titles. Early in 2017, after 19 years writing for The Australian, he became wine correspondent of the Australian Financial Review. He has a particular sympathy for organic and biodynamic production and is an accomplished mandolin player to boot. See Max's 20th anniversary video, shot towards the end of Melbourne's particularly strict coronavirus lockdown.
Alder joined the team in October 2011 to provide a regular column on what is currently preoccupying wine-loving Americans. He is responsible for Vinography.com, the most awarded wine blog anywhere since its inception in 2004. Alder was educated at Stanford and Oxford and lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter. See his 20th anniversary video, shot in sunny Berkeley.
Andy worked for Marks & Spencer for 32 years as a buyer, becoming an MW in 2011. In 2013 he left M&S to focus on his own business (Vinetrades Ltd), which is involved in education, consulting, buying and investment in wine. He is an active wine judge and writer, and has judged for the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), the International Wine Challenge (IWC), the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), Bacchus and 5StarWines. He is our UK retail specialist and a contributing editor to Decanter. See his 20th anniversary video message.
MW student Young Shi is Jancis’s Chinese business manager. Organiser with the rest of the TasteSpirit team of Chinese Wine Summit, she commutes between Shanghai and London and is in charge of Chinese translations.
A copy-editor and former medical publishing professional, Andrew gained the WSET Diploma in 2017 and joined the JancisRobinson.com team in 2018. He supports Julia in maintaining the site’s editorial standards, coordinates website development and maintains the tasting notes database.
Andrea Frost is an award-winning writer, columnist, author and talker whose unique approach to wine has as much to do with philosophy and culture as it does with tastings and terroir. Andrea joined us in early 2018, to write a bimonthly column under the banner of 'Andrea's salon'. Read more.
In February 2012 we added Alex as another monthly columnist, renowned for his tasting skills and the principal wine buyer for Berkmann Wine Cellars in London. He contributes a column with a philosophical bent under the title Alex on taste. You can read more about him in Introducing Alex. By coincidence, he was Richard Hemming's mentor when he successfully retook the practical half of the Master of Wine exam, Julia having mentored him through the theory exams.
Until 2006 wine editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Linda was our West Coast correspondent, signed to beef up our coverage for our many American visitors. See here for more about Linda's undoubted qualities. Although based in Sonoma, California, she has become one of very few experts on the many and varied wines of the entire United States of America. Linda and Jancis's book American Wine was published on both sides of the Atlantic in March 2013.