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The Panel

This Month’s Panel


Every month we showcase a different group of individuals that have dedicated their lives to the world of wine and food.  These aficionados graciously lend us their palates and expertise and blind taste through several uniquely excellent wines.  The highest rated wines from the blind tastings are then chosen to be shared with our club members.  

Please check out their other endeavors. They are truly allstars in their areas of expertise.    A huge thank you, and cheers!

Click here to see past panel members.

 

Barbara Russack – Wine Society Manager at Landmark Vineyards

Barbara Russack – Wine Society Manager at Landmark Vineyards

Barb – who is an avid and admitted lover of all things wine and food related – says “Food and wine makes life shine!”  Getting hooked on European varietals back when she made enough of a paycheck to wander the aisles at the local wine shop turned into an exodus from a professional sales career to move 3000 miles across country to live and work in wine country. After earning her WSET Advanced certificate in 2010, she moved to Napa/Sonoma in 2011 where she has worked for amazing wine makers & families. She enjoys all aspects of living in the best wine country region in the world – including she and her husband making their own wine for personal enjoyment.

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Jonathan Cristaldi – Wine Writer and Journalist

Jonathan Cristaldi – Wine Writer and Journalist

Jonathan Cristaldi has written about wine for Food & Wine, Seven Fifty Daily, Los Angeles Magazine, Liquor.com, First We Feast, Thrillist, Time Out LA, and Psychology Today. He was previously the editor in chief of Wine Access and is currently a contributing editor to The SOMM Journal. A witty, avant-garde educator, he was named a Wine Prophet by Time Out NY. Follow him on Instagram (link below)!

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Rob Barnum – Passionate Oenophile & Sonoma Wine Evangelist

Rob Barnum – Passionate Oenophile & Sonoma Wine Evangelist

Love and appreciation of wine grows in time…  Rob’s passion for wine was also enhanced with his passion for travel. Having studied International Business in grad school and taking a global role in hi-tech allowed him to experience many amazing wine regions – including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Germany, and Croatia.  Since leaving hi-tech he has supported various non-profits in the Sonoma area. Rob  is an inaugural wine club member of The Panel (and holds membership at 20+ other wine clubs). One of Rob’s favorite activities is to select a cellared wine with a Panel sticker on it and immediately feel taken to the region in the world where the wine originated!

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Dave Walker – Sonoma Valley Private Chef & Wine Collector

Dave Walker – Sonoma Valley Private Chef & Wine Collector

Dave’s love of wine began at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he often went wine tasting in the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara regions. In fact, he has traveled the world to taste wine including Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and, of course, America (in multiple states and wine regions). Dave has been collecting wine since the mid 90’s and now, with almost 30 years of cooking experience, he loves pairing wine with food for his clients.  He also offers Sonoma Valley travelers private tours in any and all local wine regions.

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