Judges Panel 2019

Tim McDonald

2019 Las Vegas Global Wine Awards
Chairman of the Judges Panel

Tim has served as a Spirits & Wine Judge at over 200 Wine and Spirits Competitions in North America. He's currently Chief Judge at the Central Coast Wine Competition and California Craft Spirits Competition.

Tim is also the former Director of Wine Judging at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.

His experience includes positions at prominent adult beverage companies; such as E&J Gallo where he served as Marketing Director Fine Wine Communications, Peak Wines as V.P. of Marketing and Communications, Trinchero Family Estates as Director of Trade Relations, and with Heublein Wines as Director of Trade & Public Relations.

Wilfred Wong

Wilfred Wong, Chief Storyteller for Wine.com is a 40+ year veteran of the wine industry. In his role at Wine.com, Wilfred concentrates his efforts on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). He is an extreme researcher and a taster of wines and employs his photography skills in his role. As a wine judge, Wilfred has participated domestically (Los Angeles International, San Francisco International, Sonoma County Harvest Fair and many others and internationally (Spain, France, New Zealand and Australia). He joined Wine.com on March 31, 2014. Wilfred lives in San Francisco with his wife, Alice and dog, Cody.

Virginie Boone
Wine Writer & Author

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and will review and report on the wines of Napa and Sonoma for the magazine. Sonoma-based Boone began her writing career in 1997 with Lonely Planet travel guidebooks, contributing to titles on South America, Northern California, France and America's Deep South. Travel assignments led her to California-focused wine coverage, including regular features for the New York Times regional newspaper Santa Rosa Press Democrat, for which Boone has been a contributing wine writer for several years. She is also the author of Napa Valley and Sonoma: Heart of California Wine Country, and a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond.

Anthony Mueller
Advanced Sommelier, CSW, WSET Level 3

Anthony Mueller is a sommelier and wine presenter with more than 20 years of experience in the food and wine industry. He has worked as a sommelier in some of the top restaurants in the US, including the three-Michelin star The French Laundry in Yountville, California, Tribute in Michigan and Tarbell's in Arizona.

He holds numerous wine certifications including the Advanced Sommelier certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers; the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 3 Award in Wines; the Certified Specialist of Wine certificate from the Society of Wine Educators; as well as the Certified Sake Adviser certificate from the Sake School of America. In 2016, he was named "Sommelier of the Month" by Food & Beverage magazine.

Mueller is an experienced wine judge, presenter and educator. He has judged wine competitions in California, Washington, Nevada and Arizona and has lectured at wine events across the US, focusing on the finer points of hospitality and service as well as the deductive tasting method. Mueller has been the recipient of several travel endowments, allowing him to explore the wine regions of the US and Europe, and was awarded the Champagne Master Level Study Program Scholarship from Laurent-Perrier USA.

Originally from Scottsdale, Arizona, Mueller relocated to Napa in 2014 to continue his pursuit of becoming the world's next "double master"—studying to achieve both the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine diplomas. In 2019, he joined Robert Parker Wine Advocate as the reviewer for Washington State and South Africa, excited to share his passion for identifying the world's best wines and presenting them to consumers.

When not drinking Sherry, Mueller enjoys riding his motorcycle, exploring the beauty of Napa Valley and sparring with his friends in the sport of blind tasting. Although he has never been to culinary school, Mueller enjoys cooking elaborate meals in his small kitchen at home, preparing dishes made with ingredients grown from his home garden.

Sara Schneider
Wine Editor, Sunset Magazine

Sara Schneider is Sunset magazine’s first wine editor, responsible for tasting panels, food-and-wine pairing in the test kitchen, wine-related food and travel coverage, Sunset’s International Wine Competition, and the magazine’s wine club.

With a B.A. and an M.A. in English, Sara taught high-school English for 10 years before a love of cooking drew her to San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, where her wine interest began. After earning her AOS degree, she combined her word and culinary backgrounds as editor of Berkeley-based Bay Food magazine for three years, then joined Sunset’s editorial staff, first on the copy desk, then as a senior food editor, eventually becoming head of the food department. In that role, she expanded the magazine’s wine coverage, and launched its Western Wine Awards program and the Sunset Wine Club. In 2005 she was named wine editor.

Sara writes a monthly column on food and wine pairing, trends, and issues in wine, as well as other wine-themed food and travel stories, and in 2007 co-authored the book California Wine Country, a Sunset Field Guide. She has judged many wine competitions, both on the West Coast and internationally.

Sara has been nominated twice for James Beard Journalism Awards and holds the Academy of Wine Communication’s Certificate for Excellence in Wine Writing.

Harley Carbery
Director of Wine,
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

As director of wine for Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Harley Carbery is the definition of a passionate wine expert. Not only does he oversee the resort’s 150,000 bottles, 4,000 labels, and team of 9 sommeliers, he’s responsible for wine-related training and wine operations for the casino, room service, banquets, and pools as well as the resort’s dining outlets, three of which hold the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine as well as one with the Grand Award.

This passion was sparked at his first job at a family-owned Dairy Queen in Canada, Carbery’s home country. While making guests smile with chocolate dipped cones, he discovered his aptitude for customer service and decided to pursue a profession in the food and beverage industry. His career began at The Fairmount Algonquin where he was a banquet supervisor responsible for overseeing events for more than 800 attendees and managing over 50 employees. Soon he moved to the Fairmount Tremblant where he worked as a cook specializing in French cuisine while pursuing a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Camosun College in Victoria, BC. In this role, Carbery prepared cuisine for banquets as well as the hotel’s restaurant. After earning his diploma, Carbery continued to work in a supervisory role in the banquet department of notable Canadian hotel Delta Sun Peaks Resort.

In 2003, he joined the team at The Fairmount Chateau Whistler as the general manager of the fine dining restaurant, The Wine Room and the casual dining room, The Wildflower. Here he demonstrated his propensity for wine and under his leadership The Wine Room achieved AAA Four Diamond status for three consecutive years and earned Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence. While in Whistler, Carbery also earned a sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild.

Carbery came to Las Vegas in 2007 as food and beverage manager at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas. Here his titles included general manager and sommelier for the AAA Four Diamond fine dining restaurant, Medici Café & Terrace as well as manager of in-room dining, Galileo Lobby Lounge & Bar and the Pool Bar and Café.

In 2008, Carbery joined the team at Robuchon restaurants at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. He began as assistant general manager and sommelier at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and, within just one year, was promoted to wine director for Chef of the Century Joël Robuchon’s Las Vegas restaurants; Joël Robuchon Restaurant and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Here Carbery managed wine lists consisting of more than 1,900 and 600 items, respectively, trained and educated the wine staff including four sommeliers and interacted with guests to ensure that each had an elevated dining experience. In his time serving in this position, the wine lists at both restaurants earned the elite Wine Spectator Grand Award and Best of Award from 2009-2012. Along with his leadership and managerial skills, Carbery is a highly certified wine professional. In 2009, he became a certified sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Sake Specialist by the Sake Education Council. Carbery earned the distinction of Certified Spanish Wine Educator from the Wine Academy of Spain in 2008.

Jessica Waugh
Director of Wine Education, SGWS Las Vegas NV

Jessica Waugh, Assistant Director of Wine Education for SGWS Nevada like many, fell into the wine business. Jessica is originally trained in architecture, she designed her grandmother’s house, but decided to step away from architecture to pursue her thirst for wine. She fell in love with wine at an early age and decided to make her passion her career.

She has been a F&B professional for over 15 years - working every position from busser to general manager - and as a sommelier in such prestigious Las Vegas restaurants as N9NE Steakhouse, Nove Italiano, Aureole, and Gordon Ramsay Steak. Jessica passed the Advanced Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2016 with the highest score, granting her the Rudd Scholarship. In 2018, she successfully passed three portions of the Masters Sommelier exam. With the tasting portion rescheduled, Jessica plans to reclaim her title in September 2019.

Beyond wine, Jessica became an Advanced Sake Professional in 2017 and created the SGWS Academy of Sake and Fine Service. Other accreditations that Jessica has completed are WSET Level 3 Award in Wine, WSET Educator Program, ISG Diploma, Italian Wine Professional, French Wine Scholar, and the Certified Beer Server.

In her current role as a wine and sake educator, Jessica loves that she gets to teach her passion for a living. Her fondest moments are when she sees the lightbulb go off in others when she’s teaching a class. Jessica’s super power is that she makes wine and sake approachable for all audiences. It is her ambition to use her skills and knowledge to mentor others wanting to learn and grow in the business. It is her goal each day to inspire others to also do what they love.

Stacie Hunt

Stacie is a Certified Silver Pin Sommelier /North American Sommelier Association / AIS / WSA (nasommelier.com) and Co-founder of SPLASH Productions (www.splashpros.com), producers of Wine, Cuisine & Art exhibitions and video productions/documentaries, television/digital publicity and marketing for wineries and regions. She is contributor to "Good Food" on KCRW-FM, Los Angeles' NPR flagship station and the Sommelier Journalist writing the wine column for the award-winning online magazine, MY LA Lifestyle (www.mylalifestyle.com).

She is Vice President of the Board of the National Association of Wine Retailers (www.nawr.org) working to “free the grapes” via direct shipping from wineries to retailers and consumers nationwide. For Du Vin Wine & Spirits in West Hollywood she is the marketer specializing in the wines of Italy and Latin America.

Her most passionate areas of work are as a spokesperson, international wine judge, educator, journalist and Course Co-Creator (AWS – American Wine Specialist and the Olive Oil Specialist course) with North American Sommelier Association (www.nasommelier.com). In this capacity Stacie is a cheerleader and able to communicate, educate and encourage students to develop and continue their knowledge in wine and food. An equal passion is functioning as a judge for wine competitions in the US, Argentina and Mexico.

Along with her work in the wine industry, Stacie is the founder and CEO of Point Media (www.pointmedia.com), a digital video production firm specializing in the music industry, developing music videos, multi-cam concert productions and apps. At times her two passions of wine and video production crossover. Stacie is producer of the one-hour award-winning documentary for Wine Spectator magazine and producer of over a dozen Satellite Media Tours featuring wineries. She is an Emmy Award winner for her news and journalism work with NBC. As a product/brand spokesperson she has conducted international webcasts and shows for Bertolli Foods and Saeco and is spokesperson for the Baja Winemakers and Chefs Association.

Stacie relates to the quote from Francis Ford Coppola regarding similarities between the wine and film businesses:

"The process is the same, with three stages. In film, you gather the source material. That's the research or the story material or the writing. The gathering in wine is the gathering of the grapes. The second phase in film is, you take what you've gathered, which some days was good, some days was bad, and through the editing you assemble, just as in wine you taste the different lots and then you assemble what you think is the best wine. Then you have the third phase, which is the entire process of finishing, which in film is all the sound and mix and color correction and finally taking it to the audience. In wine, it's the same thing, the fining and the aging and the bottle aging and ultimately putting it into the package."

Cassandra M. Brown

In 2007, Cassandra began her serious pursuit of a formal wine education and career in hospitality. She has earned immense restaurant management and wine buying experience, as well as multiple industry credentials to date.

Cassandra holds the Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators, California Wine Appellation Specialist (with honors) from the San Francisco Wine School, Certified Sake Professional from the Sake Education Council and the WSET II Certificate (with Merit) from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust of London, and she is currently pursuing the Advanced Certificate. She also graduated first in her class from the San Francisco School of Bartending.

She has lent her time and talent as an event Sommelier to Full Circle Wine Solutions and SF Chef Food & Wine and as a consulting wine instructor to SF Mixology.

Cassandra is most recently known for her nearly 5 year tenure with Hakkasan Group where she began as a Sommelier at Hakkasan San Francisco in 2013. She ascended through the ranks, next as the Divisional Beverage Manager for their newly acquired 'Fabric of Social Dining' restaurant concepts to then becoming the Director of Wine for Hakkasan Restaurants (US), overseeing the wine programs for all Hakkasan US restaurant concepts, with her last position being Assistant Director of Corporate Beverage (US).

Prior to Hakkasan, she had the distinct pleasure of managing the wine and beverage programs of some premier San Francisco Bay Area establishments, including serving as Wine & Beverage Director for Michelin Star Chef Roland Passot's 'Left Bank Restaurant Group' and as Beverage Manager/Sommelier at 'Los Altos Golf & Country Club'.

Her restaurant operations savvy led her to the helm of both Michelin Star Chef Daniel Patterson's 'Plum' and Jay Foster's 'Farmer Brown' as General Manager. She was able to offer her special touch for hospitality and wine education in the intimate setting of Chateau Montelena's San Francisco's tasting room at the Westin St. Francis, was wine buyer and Sommelier at 'Barrique Wine Bar' in Jackson Square and was on the opening team of 'ENO Wine Bar' in Union Square.

She has proudly worked with 5 different Michelin Star Chefs at different stages of their careers and has served on the advisory board of the Academy of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts for the San Francisco Unified School District. She has also been featured in numerous industry blog articles and publications, including The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal magazines.

In her not so spare time, she consults under the guise of the "The Chocolate Grape", where she offers her Sommelier expertise and wine education to the hospitality industry and the private sector, and she is also a recent inductee of La Chaîne des Rotisseurs. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, and she has judged wine competitions professionally since 2008.

Michael Cervin

Reporter, Decanter (London), Fine Wine & Liquor (China), Old Liquors Magazine (Netherlands), Wine Enthusiast, Draft, The Tasting Panel, SOMM Journal, and many others.

He is the Wine Reviews Editor for both Bonfort’s Wine & Spirits Journal and Drink Me Magazine. He also writes the Cocktail of the Month column for Arroyo Monthly Magazine, and is a contributing reviewer for The Whiskey Reviewer.

He has served as a judge at various competitions including the Best of Vinho Verde Awards in Portugal, the Taste of Rum Festival in Puerto Rico, the California State Fair Wine Competition, Distilled San Diego Spirit and Cocktail Festival, The Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition, The San Diego and San Francisco International Wine Competitions, the California Craft Spirits Competition, as well as a professional water judge at the Global Bottled Water Awards. He is also the wine buyer for the Santa Barbara Airport.

Jim Caudill
Director, Marketing Communications, Treasury Wine Estates, Napa, CA

As part of the marketing team at Treasury Wine Estates, the world’s most celebrated wine company, Jim has particular responsibility for public relations support for notable Treasury wineries Beringer, Chateau St Jean, Sterling and Etude, among others.

His work in the tourism industry early in his career, where the intersection of food & wine was well underway, led to his interest in wine and a now two-decade old career as consultant for wineries such as Westwood Estate, Wakefield and organizations such as SIP (Sustainability In Practice) and in-house marketing communications director for several notable wine companies, wine organizations and wineries.

He began his career as a newspaper reporter and photographer, and continues to contribute to trade and hospitality magazines as a journalist. His assignments have taken him to wine growing regions in France, Italy, Chile and Argentina, as well as throughout California. He has judged regularly at the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco International, San Diego, Grand Harvest, West Coast Wine, International Eastern and Green wine competitions and is a member of the Wine Century Club, whose members have tasted and explored at least 100 distinct varietals (Jim is cresting the 200 mark).

Katy Long

Katy Long has worked in and around the wine industry for nearly two decades with experience in production, sales, marketing, and communication. Katy fell in love with wine on a trip to Germany in 1996 where she tasted her first German Pinot Noir and was awe-struck. Later, her passion for wine was affirmed while studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

A one-week trip to Napa Valley post-graduation turned into a four-year stay learning all aspects of the wine industry. Starting as a production intern at Far Niente Winery followed by sales, hospitality and wine educator roles at Nickel & Nickel Winery.

Katy attended New York University, earning her B.S. in Culture and Communication, and upon returning to the Napa Valley she extolled the joys of wine, food, and travel through concierge work at Meadowood, Napa Valley, and later as Content Manager at The Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits. She has since earned the WSET Diploma with Merit, and the Sandeman Port Prize for high achievement. In addition, Katy has earned the CSS and CSW certifications, and continues to relish the exchange of knowledge surrounding wine and spirits.

In her current role as Senior Marketing Manager International, and Brand Advocate at Vintage Wine Estates in Santa Rosa, CA, Katy works with diverse teams across the organization to promote the appreciation of wines and spirits and ignite the spark in others to do the same.

Greg Martellotto

Greg Martellotto offers a unique perspective in the wine business, as he has experience in production, import/distribution, and ecommerce.

Greg estimates that he tasted over 4500 wines last year. After graduating from Stanford University, Greg traveled the world for three years to more than fifty countries always with a desire to taste and experience local food, wine and beer.

He taught English in China, picked up a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas, and worked for both the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the World Food Programme in Rome.

Greg believes his destiny with wine may have been genetically encoded, since his grandparents emigrated from Southern Italy, and his grandpa made homemade wine in his New York basement during Prohibition.

Since 2005, he has been fully invested in the wine business. Greg owns Martellotto Winery in Buellton, focusing on vibrant Bordeaux varietals from Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara.

Through his import company, One Vine Wines, he supplies select and bespoke wines to hotels, restaurants, grocery and major online retailers. His own online retail store, Bighammerwines.com, sells a curated selection of the crème de la crème of wines from around the world direct to consumers.

When Greg isn’t making, buying, selling, or tasting wine, he is active outdoors, training for Ironman triathlons, hiking, skiing, and scuba diving. He is a member of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization) and donates his time and wine to support several local museums and charitable organizations.

Will Costello
Bien Nacido and Solomon Hill Estates

Will Costello is a Master Sommelier by the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers. Costello has competed in numerous wine related competitions including the The Court of Master Sommelier’s TOP/Somm, The Chaine de Rotisseurs “Young Somm Competition,” the Ruinart Champagne Challenge and was named one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s “Top New Sommeliers 2013.”

He is an educator for New Zealand Wines and educates at the Society for Wine Educators National Conference yearly. Costello is often included in The Somm Journal, Gourmet, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Eater National Publications.

Before joining the team at Bien Nacido and Solomon Hill Estates, he was the Wine Director at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, where he oversaw the entire wine program. This included TWIST by Pierre Gagnaire, the famous chef’s only American outpost.

He was the Maître d’of Addison restaurant at The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, CA from 2006 to 2012.

He is married to Yvette and lives with their 4 dogs. He has climbed some of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Denali, and Mt. Aconcagua. He is a certified commercial pilot as well.

Judging Process

The 2019 panel of our dynamic judges is a group of highly decorated and extremely reputable individuals, with tremendous and diverse experience in all aspects of the wine industry.

The panel we have assembled perfectly fits the high level of quality and visibility that we wanted.

The judging process, itself, is conducted as a 100% blind tasting process from the early rounds all the way through the sweepstakes rounds.

An extensive amount of diverse and very specific wine categories have been created to assure that the entries are judged correctly.

As each entry is received, the supplier registers it initially. From there it is double-checked by our staff, catalogued in our system, and (if need be) put into its most appropriate sub-category. During the competition, all the Wines in their respective and specific sub-categories are sampled together as flights, carefully evaluated in all aspects, and scored numerically by each one of our spirits judges on that that flight.

The scoring ranges are:
Gold – 90-95
Double Gold – 96-100

Each judge gives the wine a score. The judging group then totals up their scores to determine the average, and that average determines the numerical score the wine will receive, as well as the color of the medal it will be awarded. All wines that the judges deem the very best in their preliminary judging will move forward to the final day of sweepstakes where they will be reevaluated by the entire panel of judges to determine the Highest Awards in the competition, The Best of Show Categories.

The Sweepstakes round to determine the Best of Show winners will take place on April 16th.

Medals will be awarded to all winners on May 13th.

A worldwide press release will be sent out announcing all the winners on May 13th. That announcement alone will be viewed by millions of people around the world in the industry as well as consumers in the public. In addition, also on August 1st, an entire Winners Section will be revealed on The Las Vegas Global Wine Awards Website, complete with images of the winners and all information about them.

Each winner will also receive a one of kind medal to celebrate their success with no restrictions on usage, as well as a complete digital media kits including multiple file format graphics and links to all press releases.