Mallory Smith…

began her love affair with wine ten years ago when the owner of a neighborhood dive bar (that happened to serve fine wine) insisted he pour her glass of wine through an aerator (a contraption that exposes a wine to oxygen to "open it up.") She doesn't remember if it actually made her wine taste better (though it probably did), but it was the coexistence of this high-brow wine practice with his laid back and sincere attitude that opened to her mind to wonder about the merit and attraction of this thing called "wine." A stint in a winery tasting room and an intermediate certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) followed.

Moving to Portland, she employed her knowledge and passion for wine at 1856 bottle shop, where she launched and now manages the wine club. She is also Sunday School's proud illustrator and designer, and spends the rest of her time desperately trying to sharpen her gardening skills (it's all about the tomatoes).

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Martin Skegg…

is a freelance writer of all things wine, food, and travel. He's the former wine columnist for the Portland Mercury, where he spent years demystifying fermented grape topics and trends for a general readership. He's British born, i.e., inherently sardonic, which he apologizes for in advance.

He has two degrees which have nothing to do with wine, but has lots of other important-sounding qualifications. These include: certified WSET Intermediate, Symposium for Professional Wine Writers fellowship recipient, certificate in Wine Business (Sonoma University), wine judge for Southern Oregon Wine Growers Association and wine chats with radio personality Tom Leykis. Most impressively, he's an admirable history buff.