Back to top

2018 Symposium Keynote: Steven Spurrier

Please see below for the names and bios of the 2018 Symposium faculty.

KeynotesView Previous Speakers

Steven SpurrierConsultant Editor, Decanter Magazine

STEVEN SPURRIER, born 5th October 1941, was educated at Rugby School and the London School of Economics.  In 1964 he joined the wine trade as a trainee with Christopher and Co (established 1665). In 1970 he moved to Paris and purchased Les Caves de la Madeleine, a small shop in the centre of the city, and in 1973 opened L’Academie du Vin, the first independent wine school in France.  As a partner, he became involved in divers ventures allied to wine:  Le Bistrot a Vin, a winebar/restaurant in the business quarter of La Defense; Le Chemin des Vignes, a warehouse and bottling plant on the outskirts of Paris;  Le Moulin du Village and Le Blue Fox, a restaurant and winebar near the Caves de la Madeleine.


Spurrier is perhaps best known for having created the tasting between top Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California and France in May 1976, subsequently referred to as The Judgement of Paris.  A recreation of this event was held 30 years to the day on May 24th2006, simultaneously in London and Napa.


In 1988, he sold his wine business interests in Paris and returned to the UK to become an independent wine consultant.  His clients have included Harrods in London and Hediard in Paris, Singapore Airlines and Christie’s for whom he created the Christie’s Wine Course in 1982.  He is also Consultant Editor for Decanter Magazine and Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards, now the world’s biggest wine competition, since its inception in 2004 and Chairman of Decanter Asia Wine Awards, Asia’s largest wine competition, since 2012.


He is the author of eight books on wine of which two:  L’Academie du Vin Wine Course and L’Academie du Vin Guide to French Wines have been translated into several languages.


Some of the prizes and awards that Steven Spurrier has won include “The Bunch Award” for articles in Decanter in 1996, “Le Prix de Champagne Lanson” in 1997, “Ritz Carlton Millienia Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1999 and “Le Prix Louis Marinier” for writing on Bordeaux in 2000.  In 2001 he was awarded “Le Grand Prix de l’Academie Internationale du Vin” (only the third time this award has been given since 1982) and also “The Andre Tchelistcheff Maestro Award” from California.


He is married, with two grown-up children, and lives, when not travelling, in London and Dorset. After much reflection and research, he decided with his wife Bella to plant a vineyard on their farm in south Dorset.  There are now 25 acres planted to 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier to make English Sparkling Wine under the name Bride Valley Vineyards, the first vintage being harvested in October 2011, the month of his 70th birthday.


View Previous Speakers


Callie CrossleyRadio and TV Host, Commentator; WGBH Boston

Callie Crossley is Host/Executive Editor of “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley Show” on Boston’s WGBH-FM, 89 7. ‘Intelligent talk’ is the hallmark of the one-hour Sunday night show which examines the small local stories often missed or overlooked by the big media outlets.  The talk show is the third radio program she has helmed at WGBH-- the latest chapter in the career of Crossley, who has been an award-winning broadcast journalist, a documentary filmmaker, and a television and radio commentator.


Her weekly radio commentaries air Mondays during WGBH’s Morning Edition. In these reported opinion essays, she tackles wide-ranging subjects—including the race and gender dynamics of the 2016 presidential campaign, the Women’s March, the impact of new internet privacy rules, the 4th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, and the early days of the Trump administration.


Crossley has been quoted in the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post. She is a frequent commentator on television and radio programs, appearing on NECN’s The Take with Sue O’Connell, The Brian Lehrer Show, CNN’s Reliable Sources, On the Media, the PBS NewsHour, and PRI’s The Takeaway. In addition, she appears weekly on WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, and regularly hosts Basic Black on WGBH-TV, which focuses on current events concerning communities of color.


A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Crossley is a public speaker and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, guest lecturing at colleges and universities about fake news and media literacy, media and politics, and the intersection of race, gender and media.


She has two Harvard Fellowships--from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, and from the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Chatham University awarded her the 2017 Hollander Award for Women in Leadership.


Crossley was a producer for Blackside, Inc.’s “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years,” which earned her an Oscar® nomination, a National Emmy, and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award (Gold Baton),which is considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. Her other major film and journalism awards include a Peabody, an Edward R. Murrow award, and a Christopher.


Crossley won the 2016 Best Commentary award from the Public Radio News Directors organization for "Tomorrow Is Not Promised: Life After Hurricane Katrina."


She was also awarded both the 2016 and 2015 National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards for a compilation of commentaries, “Observations on Ferguson: America’s Racial Ground Zero” and “Race Matters: Echoing History.”


In 2014 she took home three awards –the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion awards for writing, producing and co-hosting the hour radio documentary, “Witness to History: WGBH’s 1963 Coverage of the March on Washington.”


In February 2013, she was named one of four Wellesley graduates to receive the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award, the college’s highest honor.


Crossley has been honored with many community awards, including the 2016

GK100 List, identified as one of Boston’s Top 100 Influential People of Color.


In 2012, she was named by the Tennessee Historic Commission as one of twelve distinguished Tennesseans to be featured in the AT&T African-American History Calendar.  The Ford Hall Forum also honored her with its highest recognition, The George Coleman Award, for extraordinary community service.


In 2011, she was one of six women to receive the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Leading Woman Award and one of 125 women featured in the book Boston, Inspirational Women, photographs by Bill and Kerry Brett, text by Carol Beggy.


She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and holds two honorary degrees, a Doctor of Arts degree from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cambridge College.


Currently, she is a member of the Board of the Boston Book Festival. Formerly she was a board member of the Poynter Institute, The Wellesley Centers for Women, the Ford Hall Forum, and Cambridge Reads. She was a member of the 9-member judging Jury for the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards and currently is the Co-Chief Judge for the NICHM Foundation Television and Radio Journalism Award.


Evan GoldsteinMaster Sommelier; President of Full Circle Wine Solutions

Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier, is one of the nation's most prolific food and wine industry veterans. His food and wine career started at age 19 in the kitchens of the Restaurant Le Saintongeais and the Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, and Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, California. In 1984 he joined his mother, Chef and Author Joyce Goldstein, in opening the celebrated San Francisco restaurant Square One where as sommelier his wine lists received myriad awards. In 1987 he became the eighth American and youngest ever at the time to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier examination. Since 1990, Evan has created education programs, wine training and service hospitality schools with Seagram Chateau & Estates Wines Company, Diageo, Allied Domecq, and  Beam Wine Estates. In addition, Evan continues to train and examine candidates for the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Founding Board member, celebrating both his 30th year examining candidates and 31st anniversary as a Master Sommelier in 2018.

Evan is the author of Five Star Service: Your Guide to Hospitality Excellence (On Premise Communications Inc. publishers) and the critically acclaimed books, Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food and its sequel, Daring Pairings: A Master Sommelier Matches Distinctive Wines with Recipes from His Favorite Chefs, both published by the University of California Press. In addition, Goldstein co-authored numerous books with his mother Joyce Goldstein, including ‘Wine and Food Pairing’ in the Williams Sonoma Lifestyles series. His latest literary undertaking, ‘Wines of South America: The Essential Guide’ (UC Press), was released in the fall of 2014.

Evan is a regular editorial contributor to America’s Sommelier Journal, a contributing editor for Wine & Dine and Indulgence magazines in Singapore, is the American wine correspondent for Wine Review, South Korea’s leading wine and food magazine, and is a recurring guest wine expert on NBC’s syndicated television show “In Wine Country.” He also makes regular guest appearances on the top-rated “Ronn Owens’ Show” on KGO Radio, and on Saturday morning television’s KPIX “Eyewitness News”, both in San Francisco, and on the nationally syndicated Martha Stewart Radio, hosted by Sirius.

Jim GordonEditor, Wines & Vines

JIM GORDON, Editor, Wines & Vines magazine since 2006, is responsible for the editorial content of the monthly trade magazine founded in 1919 and its related digital publications and conferences. He directs the editorial staff and assigns and edits articles on grape growing, wine making and wine marketing. He regularly researches and writes reports on economic and grape/wine production topics within the wine industry, and analyzes wine industry data with the company's market research team.


Mr. Gordon has been covering wine and the wine business as an editor and writer for 30 years. A role as contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a national consumer publication, began in 2014, for which he reviews California wines and reports on various California wine regions. He was executive director of the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley from 2008 to 2015, recruiting top writers and critics like Robert M. Parker Jr. and Jancis Robinson to mentor their colleagues.


Dorling Kindersley (DK Books) of London published his first book as editor in chief, Opus Vino, in 2010, which was chosen a finalist in the James Beard Awards. The second book for DK, 1000 Great Everyday Wines, followed in 2011. Mr. Gordon was managing editor of Wine Spectator magazine from 1987 to 1999 in San Francisco and New York. In 2002 he was co-creator and managing editor of the long-running Wine Country Living TV series for NBC station KNTV in San Jose/San Francisco.


Mr. Gordon holds a B.A. in English literature from Denison University, Granville, Ohio, and also studied civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He completed the U.C. Davis Wine Executive Program. He understands grape and wine production from the inside out, partly due to growing grapevines at his home and making non-commercial wine for 27 years.


Mr. Gordon has given presentations at numerous business conferences and meetings, including the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the New York Wine Experience, VinExpo in Bordeaux, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair and others. He lives in Napa, Calif.

Rae Ann HermanContributing Style Editor at O The Oprah Magazine

Rae Ann Herman has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She began her career at Glamour magazine, where she held the position of Accessories Director for a decade. Herman has also contributed her talents to ElleHarper's BazaarSelf and Conde Nast Traveler.  Since 2011, Herman has worked as O, The Oprah Magazine's Style Editor and helped oversee the publication's annual "Favorite Things" roundup. Working alongside O's creative director Adam Glassman, Herman searches through thousands of items nationwide to find those that will eventually make the prestigious gift guide's final cut.


Todd KlimanAuthor and critic

Todd Kliman is a novelist, essayist, critic, and teacher. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New YorkerHarper'sThe Oxford AmericanThe Daily Beast and Lucky Peach. He is the recipient of two James Beard Awards, most recently the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his autobiography in seven meals, and his stories and essays have been widely anthologized, including six times in The Best Food Writing series.


He is the author of The Wild Vine, a work of narrative non-fiction about a multi-millionaire redneck transsexual on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of a suicidal antebellum doctor, nearly lost to history, who accomplished what Thomas Jefferson tried and could not. The Washington Post called it a "fascinating story, complex and with a haunting finish," while The Richmond Times-Dispatch hailed it as "an outstanding piece of literature." 


For ten years Kliman taught literature and writing at American University and Howard University. At Howard, he was also the editorial director of Chris Rock's magazine of satire, The Illtop Journal, modeled after The Harvard Lampoon


In addition to writing and teaching, Kliman is also a radio talk show host, occasionally filling in on the Kojo Nnamdi Show in Washington, D.C. In December, he began hosting and moderating a popular series of salon-style conversations about culture and ideas. 


His next book is Happiness Is Otherwise, an exploration of love, loss, identity, art, memory, and despair.

Dave McIntyreWine Columnist, The Washington Post

Dave McIntyre has written the weekly wine column for The Washington Post's James Beard Award-winning Food section since October 2008. His column is widely syndicated and often appears in newspapers across the country. His writings have also appeared in Wine Enthusiast, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washingtonian and other publications. He created his blog, Dave McIntyre's WineLine, in 1998, and co-founded Drink Local Wine in 2008 to help promote awareness of emerging U.S. wine regions. He lives terrestrially in Silver Spring, Maryland, and virtually @dmwine. 

Orianne NouailhacPublisher, Editor in Chief, VIGNERON

Former a classical dancer, and graduated with a Masters degree in History with a specialty in the 17th century, Orianne Nouailhac created her first magazine at the age of 25. Piano was dedicated to the greatest classical and jazz artists. She worked throughout the years for several cultural publications in France. From 2005 to 2010, she was a contributor to the cultural and political TV show “Chez FOG” created by Franz-Olivier Giesbert, CEO of the weekly Le Point. Orianne today focuses on two of her passions: gastronomy and wine. Co-creator (in 2004) and editor in chief of the magazine dedicated to famous chefs, 3 Étoiles, from 2010 to 2015, she is currently the owner, publisher and editor in chief of the magazine Vigneron, created in 2010. 

Cyril PennEditor, Wine Business Monthly

Cyril Penn is editor in chief of Wine Business Monthly and, part of Wine Communications Group, the leading supplier of information to the wine industry.  Penn has been with WBM since 2000. His work on the wine business has appeared in a number of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, where he contributed the Wine Business Insider column for five years. Penn has traveled to wine regions throughout North America, Europe and South America. Prior to joining WBM, he was managing editor of the California Energy Markets newsletter in San Francisco. His background includes several years as a freelance journalist. Following stints at the Columbia Journalism Review and MacNeil Lehrer Report (now the PBS NewsHour), Penn worked for Reuters in New York. He holds a Bachelor's degree in media studies from Fordham University.

Pavia RosatiFounder and CEO, Fathom

Pavia Rosati is the founder and CEO of Fathom, the award-winning travel website that guides passionate travelers to the places they’ll be dreaming about long after they’ve come home. Fathom mixes curated guides and personal stories with the best resources and products, and plans custom trips for readers. Companies like Vox Media, American Express, Qantas Airlines, and Kate Spade New York look to Fathom to help tell their travel stories. Prior to Fathom, Pavia spent nine years as the original executive editor at the groundbreaking lifestyle media company DailyCandy, growing the beloved brand from a New York newsletter into an international publication with 28 editions. At DailyCandy, she covered food and travel in New York City and around the world, with a focus on emerging talent and best-in-class destinations. She has written about food, travel, and culture for The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, Bon Appetit, and Departures, among others. Pavia has spent a good part of her life in Italy and is part of a third generation of restaurateurs in the United States. Her grandfather, Nello, established The Homestead Inn in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1939, a restaurant that is considered a landmark and a destination for its authentic Italian-American cuisine. She divides her time between New York and the rest of the world. She can be found on Instagram at @pavianyc.

Tracey RyderCo-Founder, Edible Communities, Inc.

Tracey Ryder co-founded Edible Communities, Inc., the nation’s largest publishing company dedicated to the local foods movement, in 2002, with her partner, Carole Topalian. The company currently publishes 95 titles across North America, including Edible Boston, Edible San Francisco and Edible Vancouver, and is currently adding new magazines at a rate of 6 per year. The content for each publication is region-specific and focuses on the farmers, fishermen, ranchers, chefs and food artisans from each area. Ms. Ryder has worked as a journalist, marketer and graphic designer for the culinary, tourism and agriculture industries for nearly 30 years. She is a regular speaker at conferences and events in the culinary and publishing fields. Her first book, “Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods,” was published by John Wiley & Sons in April 2010. Today, Ryder enjoys living between two of her favorite places on earth — Ojai, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Leslie SbroccoAuthor, Speaker, Consultant, Television Host

An award-­winning author, speaker, consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her entertaining approach to wine and food, as well as inspiring others to live a life of passion. Voted as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality, humor, and ability to connect with the audience – whether on screen or on stage – are her trademarks.

Sbrocco’s first book, Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine (William Morrow), has been excerpted by two national magazines, Redbook and Family Circle, and won the coveted Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year award. Her second book, The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide (William Morrow), was released to wide acclaim, and she is currently at work on two new books entitled 100 Days…100 Drinks, Dishes & Destinations and Drinking for a Living: How One Woman Created Her Dream Job and So Can YOU.

As host of the PBS restaurant review series Check Please! Sbrocco has won a coveted James Beard award, three Taste Awards, and three Emmy awards in the span of 10 seasons on air. Sbrocco was a featured judge on the PBS national series, The Winemakers, and created wine content for the hit TBS show, Cougartown. She appears frequently on national television outlets including CNN, The Hallmark Channel’s Better TV, QVC, and is a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. Her work has been published in outlets such as People Style Watch magazine,, O the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Health, Good Housekeeping and Glamour among others. Prior to completing Wine for Women, Leslie was a columnist for The New York Times online and General Manager of, a site of The New York Times Company. She is also the founder of the multi-­media company, Thirsty Girl LLC.

Through her social media, print, online outlets and television appearances, Leslie reaches millions of consumers. Sbrocco is one of the country’s most sought-­after wine speakers and an emerging talent speaking to groups on how to turn their passions into their careers. She has showcased her energetic style at hundreds of events including O Magazine's Hi Gorgeous tour with Oprah Winfrey, and the Women of the Vine, and Women in Insurance Leadership Symposiums.

Her portfolio of corporate clients lists Liberty Mutual Insurance, The Wall Street Journal, Mercer, Cisco Systems, RedPrairie, and AON to name a few. Within the culinary industry, Sbrocco has appeared on stage with a roster of celebrity chefs including Marcus Samuelsson, Carla Hall, and Jacques Pépin. She has been keynote speaker at high-­profile events including Food and Wine Magazine’s Aspen Classic, the Boston Wine Expo, Pinot Noir New Zealand, Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, the Boardwalk Wine Promenade, Tulalip Resort’s Taste of Tulalip, and SF Chefs.

Leslie has built programs for and consulted with companies such as Target, Harry & David, and Kimpton Hotels. Her educational and event clients include The Atlantic City Alliance, Wines from Spain, Trentino Wines, G7 Wines of Portugal, Crystal Cruises, and Holland America Cruise Lines. Sbrocco is member of the philanthropic society Les Dames d’Escoffier and a respected judge at global wine competitions including the Concours Mondial, The Argentina Wine Awards, Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Competition, Critics Challenge, and the San Francisco International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Lettie TeagueWine columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Lettie Teague is the wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Her column “On Wine” is published every Saturday (except one) she wrote another weekly column “Uncorking New York” for The Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section until that section was discontinued. She has won three James Beard awards.


Lettie joined The Wall Street Journal in 2010 and won the 2012 James Beard Award Food-Related Columns Award for her Wall Street Journal columns. She was the executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine (1997- 2009) where she oversaw the magazine’s wine coverage and also wrote the monthly column “Wine Matters” for which she received the James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award in 2003 and the James Beard Award Best Magazine Columns award in 2005. She was inducted into the Wine Media Hall of Fame in June 2015.


Lettie is currently working on an introductory guide to wine (as yet untitled) for Basic Books, to be published in 2019. Her previous books include Wine In Words: Some Notes for Better Drinking published by Rizzoli in April 2015 and Educating Peter: How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert published by Scribner’s  in 2007. She was also the illustrator and co-author of Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape, published by Bantam in 1995 and still in print.


Lettie loves all kinds of wines except Pinotage. She has only had one good Pinotage.

Amy WislockiManaging Editor, Decanter

Amy joined Decanter in October 2000 as editor, aged 28, and has spent 17 happy years since then, immersed in the world of wine and wine magazine publishing. In 2006 she became managing editor. Before joining Decanter, she had a career working on other magazines with a mostly male readership – first on What to Buy for Business (Reed Business Information), a buying guide to office equipment and services. This involved researching and writing reports on subjects as diverse and illuminating as colour printers, washrooms and laminators. Moving to customer magazine company Redwood in 1996, she worked as deputy editor on Psion User, AA Magazine and BT Talking Business. After six months in Bosnia (a sabbatical working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Sarajevo), she returned to edit the BT magazine for two years before moving to Decanter to take up what she describes as her ‘dream job’.

View Previous Speakers