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Profiling the Judges: The Writers

by Tom Wark on June 19, 2012

As we write, the 14 hard-working Wine Blog Awards judges are evaluating the more than 500 nominations in nine categories. Put another way, this is a good time to start a series of posts to tell you a little bit more about those folks who will be determining the Award’s finalists.

This installment highlights…

Five of the 14 judges are published authors working with or around the subject. It was always our intent to bring accomplished writers into the judging process. Practiced, successful writers have spent the time working though the creative process with the intent of being read. A simple as this may seem, it requires the kind of discipline, creativity and stamina that great wine blogging requires. Further, all the writers profiled here have substantial knowledge of wine and the wine industry.

Evan Dawson
In addition to being the Managing Editor of the New York Cork Report, Dawson is the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Finger Lakes Winemaking. Published by Sterling Epicure, In “Summer in a Glass”, Dawson profiles the Finger Lakes growing region, its history and the people that transferred the area from a winemaking outback to a premier producer of outstanding wines.

Karen MacNeil
Karen MacNeil is the award-winning author of numerous books including the best selling “The Wine Bible.” Karen’s “The Wine Bible” has been atop the Amazon list of books about wine and winemaking for what seems to be forever…or at least as long as Amazon took over the book selling world. She is sought out as a speaker, consultant and guest on television and radio.

Leslie Sbrocco
Leslie is the author of “The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide” as well as “Wine For Women”, two highly successful books that help launch her careers as one of America’s most visible wine authorities and personalities. Leslie has appeared on numerous television shows as both guest and host. Leslie is also the founder of Thirsty Girl, a beverage oriented multi-media company.

James Conaway
James Conaway has written nine non-fiction books on a variety of subjects including wine. His “Napa” and “The Far Side of Eden” both document the wine culture in Napa Valley with particular emphasis on the regions ecology. Next year he will see published a fiction work centered in and around the wine industry in which wine bloggers and critics play a key role.

Stephen Yafa
In addition to currently editing a new digital wine publication, Uncorked, and producing his own wine, Segue”, Stephen Yafa has published numerous articles on wine and other subject matter in Playboy, Details, American Heritage, Rolling Stones and other publications. As if this is not enough, the multi-talented Yafa is also a successful playwright and screenwriter.