About Wine & Spirits


Founded in 1982, Wine & Spirits is published eight times a year and read by over 200,000 members of America’s wine community. Consumers and wine professionals read the magazine for information on established and up-and-coming regions and producers, the art and science of viticulture, industry happenings and food and wine pairing. Wine & Spirits, the only wine publication to win the James Beard award five times for excellence in wine writing, evaluates more than 13,000 bottlings every year.

Click here to see how we taste the wines.

Please click on the pictures below to read the staff's bios.

Critics


X Joshua Greene

Joshua Greene

Publisher & Editor

Editor and Publisher of Wine & Spirits since 1986, Joshua Greene began drinking wine with meals during a summer in Galicia, Spain, at the age of 13. In later years, he worked in wine shops in western Massachusetts and served as wine captain at Wheatleigh, a small inn in Lenox. After graduating from Princeton University in 1981, Greene pursued a career in magazines, focusing on the management of special-interest publications. His work with Wine & Spirits began on a consulting basis, eventually leading to his purchase of the magazine in 1989.

Greene has traveled extensively in the wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and all the major wine regions of the United States. In addition to his duties as editor and publisher, Greene serves as the critic for Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Portugal, Rioja, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He also writes feature stories and commentary for each issue of the magazine.

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X Tara Q. Thomas

Tara Q. Thomas

Executive Editor

Since Tara Q. Thomas joined Wine & Spirits in 1997, she's traveled the wine world from Argentina to Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy and North America. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, with more than 20 years of experience in the food and wine world, Tara puts her culinary knowledge to use as a writer on food and wine and as W&S's resident food maven and editor of Cityscene. In her role as W&S critic, Tara specializes in the wines of Greece, having lived and cooked in Athens, and also covers the wines of Southern France and Eastern Europe. Outside of W&S, Tara has authored two books, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wine Basics (now in its second edition) and The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Wine, and writes a wine column for Culture: The Word on Cheese.

X Patrick J. Comiskey

Patrick J. Comiskey

Senior Correspondent

A former sommelier, Patrick J. Comiskey serves as the W&S critic for all domestic wines outside of California–including New York, Oregon and Washington—and contributes articles on the wines and viticulture of these areas. His wine travels include regular visits to US wine regions, as well as trips to France, Italy, Germany and Australia. Comiskey’s writing credentials include contributions to the San Francisco Chronicle's wine section, the Los Angeles Times, Bon Appétit and the Robb Report, in addition to educational materials for selected restaurants and websites. He also teaches classes and moderates panels on viticulture, wine tasting and various wine regions.

X Patricio Tapia

Patricio Tapia

Senior Correspondent

After graduating with a degree in journalism from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Patricio Tapia attended Bordeaux University in France, where he studied for a diploma in wine tasting and winemaking. Since then, he has visited wine regions around the world and authored several books, including his annual Descorchados, a Chilean wine guide; The Wines of Colchagua Valley; TodoVino and Wines for Great Occasions. Tapia is also the South American correspondent for The Oxford Companion to Wine, The World Atlas of Wine and Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Book. For the past three years, he's been a host on the El Gourmet channel in South America. At Wine & Spirits, Tapia is the critic for the wines of Argentina, Chile and Spain, and regularly contributes articles on these regions.

X Luke Sykora

Luke Sykora

Senior Editor

Before joining Wine & Spirits, Luke Sykora earned a MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and taught writing at the University of Iowa and the University of San Francisco. He started focusing on wine in earnest when he moved to California in 2007, and has since visited wine regions throughout the West Coast as well as in France. Based in San Francisco, Sykora runs the blind tasting panels for all domestic wines and serves as the wine critic for the California (other than Napa Valley). When he's not writing about wine, he occasionally writes about beer for DRAFT Magazine.

X Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson

Italian Wine Editor

Stephanie Johnson became tasting director for Wine & Spirits in August 2013, after five years as the wine director at City Winery in NYC’s SoHo. Her curiosity about wine and the people who produce it has taken her to wine regions in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, California and Oregon. One of her most compelling tasting lessons came with her move to Wine & Spirits, she says. “I had been trained to taste with the goal of making blind identifications. That’s a very rigid process, focusing on factors like structure, balance and typicity. Tasting with Josh and Tara taught me to pay attention first to my visceral and emotional impressions—Do I like this wine? Is it pleasurable?—and then go back and assess why I reacted that way. It flipped my approach on its head, and made it easier for me to communicate about wines." Stephanie serves as critic for the wines of Italy and the Jura.

Tasting Department


X Jenn Pries

Jenn Pries

Tasting Coordinator

While studying journalism at San Francisco State, Jenn started exploring northern California’s countryside and, in turn, the wine that grows there. She worked at wine bars and then turned to restaurants full-time while writing on food and drink for local publications like the Bold Italic and SF Weekly. She loves the stories behind wines and can frequently be found visiting the wineries, breweries, and meaderies north and south of the city. When Jenn’s not at Wine & Spirits, she’s behind the lens of a camera or working as a server at some of her favorite restaurants in San Francisco.

X Zach Siegel

Zach Siegel

Tasting Coordinator

Zach joined the Wine & Spirits tasting department in fall 2015. He first developed a love of wine while studying abroad in Paris, when he spent most of his time eating, drinking and escaping to travel around Europe. During his senior year at Cornell University, he survived the cold winters by exploring the wineries of the Finger Lakes. When Zach is not at the magazine, he brews beer and works as a restaurant host. Zach is a proud native New Yorker, having grown up in Greenwich Village, and he has a healthy obsession with food and New York City restaurants.

Sales & Marketing Team


X Christine Ballard

Christine Ballard

Marketing Coordinator

Christine’s career in wine started at Gallo, after which she spent nearly 15 years teaching English in Italy and exploring the food and wine culture. She had begun formal studies as an Italian sommelier and WSET student when opportunity took her from the hills of Tuscany to the hills of San Francisco and a place as Marketing Coordinator for Wine & Spirits magazine. Having exchanged Super Tuscans for Napa Valley cabernet, she is now eating and drinking around the Golden State.

X Christine Ballard

Samantha Johnson (Groseth)

Associate Publisher

Before joining Wine & Spirits, Samantha spent her days in Boston where she moved from a strategic planning role at The Boston Globe for their Design New England and Fashion Boston magazines to managing a popular restaurant. While planning a move to New York City, she realized her passion and drive for the publishing world didn’t fulfill her need for a high-energy atmosphere as the restaurant business did. Then she stumbled upon what would be the perfect mix: a role within the publishing world that kept her close to the restaurant industry—at Wine & Spirits magazine. Within three years she’s gone from Sales Associate to Associate Publisher.

Finance Team


X Roy Schneider Jr.

Roy Schneider Jr.

Director of Finance

Roy joined Wine & Spirits in 2003 to oversee the daily and long-term finances of the magazine. He handles cash flow works alongside the publisher to develop and fine tune strategic plans; Roy also manages basic business operations of the company—from IT to human resources. If there’s a problem, he’ll solve it.

Having begun his career on Wall Street, Roy holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and has worked for a number of corporate and boutique firms from New York to Japan. While he clearly enjoys wines—having, over the years, sampled many thousands—he remains true to his Caribbean roots and maintains a primary love for rum.

Art Team


X Mike Rush

Mike Rush

Art Director

Coming soon.

X Vivian Ho

Vivian Ho

Production Manager/Web Designer

After graduating from CUNY Baruch College with a BA in Graphic Communications, Vivian earned her certification in Web Development with Open Standards at her alma mater in 2012. Vivian’s design adventures started at Marvel Entertainment as an intern, then as a junior designer. Now with 10 years of print and digital design experience, she manages print production for Wine & Spirits and just completed a redesign of the company’s website using Expression Engine.

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