About Us

Taylor

Taylor Eason

Taylor is originally from Atlanta and a self-proclaimed Southern foodie. She earned her undergraduate degree in English/French Literature from Colgate University, whose proximity to New York wineries lured her into a fascination with the grape. She was  hooked. After graduating, she enrolled at Ecôle Hotelière de Genève in Switzerland, a culinary management program that encouraged European wine country exploration. The addiction grew to include Italian, German and French vino/wein/vin.

After completing her studies in Europe, Taylor moved to Tampa, Florida to manage at Bern’s Steakhouse, famous for having the most extensive wine list in the world. After two years, she was lured away to the corporate world, designing and managing food and wine websites in 1997. Then, in August 2001, noticing a lack of spunky wine education for non wine snobs, she launched a weekly column, Corkscrew, that has now been printed in six countries around the world. Those vinous musings are found throughout these webpages.

To support her wine habit, after completing her MBA in Marketing in 2001, she served as Director of Marketing and Product Development at Creative Loafing Newspapers. There, she specialized in new media, market research and event branding strategies.

Taylor still regularly treks the world stoking her love of wine, summing up her rather strong opinions virtually every day on her website. To pay the bills, she works in the marketing department at J Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County, California where she lives with her husband, Scott, and their coveted wine collection. The opinions expressed on this blog in no way represent those of her employer.

Policies for the trade and receiving wine samples

Interested in republishing an article on this website? Email Taylor

Robb Larsen

Robb Larsen photoRobb Larson loves beer, especially craft beer, and is always in search of the elusive perfect pint. Expanding and refining his palate for nearly two decades now, he has been a beer aficionado and “Beer Dude” since the days of flannel and Nirvana. He enjoys talking and writing about beer, and of course drinking it as well.

When he’s not holding down a barstool at one of the Tampa Bay beer bars boring the locals, Robb likes to brew his own craft beer. Ironically, Robb also works hard as a personal trainer, helping and encouraging clients to reduce their beer belly.He lives in Clearwater, Florida with his sweetheart Lisa, their many cats, and his many homebrews.

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Sean Ludford

Sean Ludford has been involved in the beverage industry for more than two decades (so it’s far too late to pursue a respectable career path.) He has an eclectic resumé including stints at restaurants, some of America’s top wine & spirit retailers, as a writer & reviewer, importer/distributor, and was once even lured to the South Pacific to help open a micro brewery.

Sean is a judge at some of the world’s most prestigious competitions including the San Francisco International Wine Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Both are the largest and most prestigious of their kind in the USA. Ludford says, “Reviewing products is a tricky thing. It requires experience and an ability to put the beverages in context while always being fair.”

Today, Sean focuses on writing and educating. In 2006 he created BevX.com (Beverage Experts) a lifestyle web publication with a weighty beverage focus. BevX is a unique and independent voice in the world of wine, beer, and spirits punditry. Sean is also a regular contributor/columnist for several print magazines including, The Tasting Panel Magazine, Nightclub & Bar Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality, and several others. He speaks regularly on topics as diverse as Single Malts, Belgian Ales, Italian wines, and the vineyards of Bali (don’t get him going on that one). In his little spare time Sean enjoys cooking, hiking, reading, watching rugby, and seeking the perfect pint. If you see him out in his hometown of Chicago, buy him one.

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Check out Sean’s website, BevX.com

Mary Scourtes

My favorite food is anything with a vowel in it (unless you know of something spelled with all consonants.) During my formative years at University of Florida, I picked my major by opening its catalog, which fell to the Journalism section. Check: major is chosen. I took on cooking duties in exchange for having my roommates take on KP. I can tell you the number of chocolate chips in the perfect cookie.

Check: Suzette Soufflé, my alter ego, was established.

I became food writer for The Tampa Tribune because I could discuss the merits of battered-fried Twinkies, how much Gruyere to use in Swiss fondue, and why including Godiva every day has therapeutic benefits. Since leaving the newspaper, I’ve contributed to cookbooks, magazines and other periodicals.

Intrepid hubby, Chas, and I choose vacation spots by plotting Michelin-starred restaurants.  We know food can be the best destination on any trip.

One favorite memory is sitting in the storied hills of San Francisco, as a Pillsbury Bake-Off judge, while choosing the next million-dollar recipient.  No company takes integrity more seriously than this. Poppin’ Fresh didn’t want to wind up with egg on his face and the venue was crawling with men in suits with contracts. As one of a dozen judges committed to confidentiality, we had to sign a statement that no one had tried to coerce, bribe or influence us by any means beside the sheer good taste of her creation. I’ll take that same seriousness, add humor at times, and keep you informed on my take on the local restaurant scene.

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Jennifer Fields

Jennifer Fields has a thing for adventure, and for change. In 2007, she left high-tech corporate America and ventured into culinary school. Her thoughts weren’t necessarily to become a chef, but to be professionally trained so she could go out and write intelligently about the fabulous things happening in the food world. She remains consumed in awe by the immense variety of mushrooms that bloom, all the variations of salt that are available and the increasingly interesting topic the entire world of food is. Jennifer spent time working in the test kitchen of the food section of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon testing recipes and experimenting in the kitchen for the paper’s weekly readership.

But in 2010 Jennifer decided more adventure and change was in the forecast. She headed east from Portland, Oregon to Tampa, Florida for a little excitement and a lot of sunshine. Today Jennifer is a sales and marketing professional by day and freelance food writer by night. In her past food writing experience, she’s written for TastingTable.com, Culinate.com and Citysearch.com.

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Check out Jennifer’s blog,
Savor it


Raymond Hook

2010 Cheeseworks –Sales Manager- EastChef Morimoto-and-Raymond

  • Handled premier and large accounts including Dean & Deluca, Murray’s, Zingerman’s and other high volume customers.
  • Was on the 3 person committee that approved all new products
  • Coordinated our marketing efforts and lead our Marketing Manager

2005 Cheeseworks- Sales- West

  • In charge of the largest accounts on West Coast
  • Supplier relations
  • Source products

2002 Consultant – Worked with retailers, producers and distributors

1999 Star Provisions – GM for Specialty foods market in Atlanta, Georgia

Consultant for Premium Port Works – 2 ½ year marketing program than exceeded company goals for sales by 30%
Consultant for Sweet Grass Dairy- help develop products, market them and sales training
Marketing Committee for American Cheese Society- help develop marketing initiatives for the ACS
Wine Market Assistant- Partner- develop cheese pairing for a vast wine data base

Media: Saveur Magazine, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Cooking Light, Food Arts, Creative Loafing, SF Chronicle, Judge at CA State Fair

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