EDITOR’S NOTE: In September 2021, longtime senior editor Kim Marcus, 62, after 33 years with Wine Spectator, made known his wish to retire at the end of the year. Marcus agreed to continue writing for the publication as a contributing editor, and his tasting and managerial duties were reassigned as reported in this story. Sadly, we recently learned of Marcus’ unexpected death on Jan. 11, as reported here.
Our first issue of the new year brings some important changes to the Wine Spectator masthead. Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher, is pleased to announce expanded roles for several key editors, along with the appointment of a new senior editor.
James Molesworth, who currently tastes California Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux among other regions, will begin reviewing California Pinot Noir. Molesworth joined Wine Spectator in 1997 as a tasting coordinator and was promoted to senior editor in 2004. “James has done an outstanding job since taking over California Cabernet, and I expect he will bring the same passion and enthusiasm to the state’s Pinot Noir,” said Shanken. Based in Wine Spectator’s New York office, Molesworth travels frequently to Napa to taste wines and visit wineries.
Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been appointed the new Napa bureau chief. Worobiec joined Wine Spectator as an assistant tasting coordinator in the California office in 1997 and helped open the company’s expanded Napa outpost in 2000. She was appointed senior editor in 2013, and in recent years she has been responsible for tasting California Sauvignon Blanc and the wines of Australia and New Zealand. Worobiec now adds California Chardonnay to her list of responsibilities. “Our Napa office gives us a front-row seat to America’s leading wine regions, with the Napa team delivering in-depth reporting and breaking news for our readers. MaryAnn will continue that record of excellence,” said Shanken.
Senior editor Alison Napjus, who tastes Champagne and many wines from Italy, will become lead reviewer on the wines of Spain. Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000 and was promoted to senior editor in 2012. Appointed tasting director in 2016, she oversees the scope and content of Wine Spectator’s Buying Guide reviews and more. “The integrity of the tasting department and our review process has been in excellent hands with Alison. Spain is an important and exciting region and readers will benefit from her coverage,” said Shanken.
Napa-based associate editor Aaron Romano has been assigned the Chile and Argentina tasting beats. “Aaron has been training on blind tasting with the senior editors in the Napa office for several years. I am pleased that his hard work has paid off, and I am confident in his abilities,” said Shanken. Romano came aboard Wine Spectator in 2012 and has written many insightful stories since, including his recent cover story on the impact of cannabis on California wine country.
A complete listing of reviewers and their wine regions can be found on our Tasters Profiles page.
Wine Spectator also welcomes a new senior editor to the team: journalist Kristen Bieler. Bieler has been writing and reporting in the wine and spirits industry for more than two decades and most recently was editor-in-chief of SevenFifty Daily, a digital publication for the drinks trade. Her résumé also includes having been editor-in-chief of Beverage Media Group, a national network of beverage alcohol trade publications. Bieler will be based in the New York office and will contribute to both print and digital content.