Wine Enthusiast  Companies  Announces New Region Assignments for France Tasters, and Celebrates Success of “Best Buy” and New “Hidden Gem” Designations

Woman smelling glass of red wine
Photo by Tom Arena

VALHALLA, N.Y. (March 28, 2023) Wine Enthusiast Companies, composed of Wine Enthusiast Media and Wine Enthusiast Commerce, announced today new region assignments for the France tasters. The Wine Enthusiast tasting department blind tastes more than 25,000 wines annually and provides reputable reviews for readers across the globe. In 2022 alone, nearly 5,000 French wines were blind tasted and reviewed by Wine Enthusiast. The new assignments will enhance the support behind the region and magnify the opportunity for more wines to be tasted. The five France tasters include:

  • Anna-Christina Cabrales is the Tasting Director at Wine Enthusiast and reviews wines from Burgundy and Rhône Valley.
  • Layla Schlack is a Writer at Large for Wine Enthusiast and reviews wines from Alsace. 
  • Reggie Solomon joins the tasting team as a Writer at Large and will review wines from Beaujolais and Loire Valley.
  • Jacy Topps is the Assistant Print Editor at Wine Enthusiast and adds Provence to her beat. She will now review wines from Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, and Vin de France.
  • Roger Voss is a Writer at Large for Wine Enthusiast and reviews wines from Bordeaux, Champagne, Southwest and Other France. Voss also reviews wines from Portugal.

“From traditional to innovative, France continues to produce beautiful wines and the new French assignments provide the essential support to taste a vast amount of product and better serve our readers,” said Jacqueline Strum, President & Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Media. “Structural changes in the tasting department began last year and have proven to meet consumer demand. We welcome Reggie to our talented team of tasters. His impressive wine knowledge and list of certifications contribute to our goal of writing reputable reviews with fresh perspectives.”

For a full list of the Wine Enthusiast tasting and review team, click here.

Two other recent changes that have proven to be well-received by Wine Enthusiast readers are the criteria update for the “Best Buy” list and the introduction of the “Hidden Gem” designation. After a wine is blind tasted, rated and reviewed by the Wine Enthusiast tasting team, the editorial team selects bottles that receive a 90+ rating to be included in one of three designations: “Editor’s Choice,” “Cellars Selection,” or “Hidden Gem.”

The new “Hidden Gem” class was launched in fall 2022. It highlights regional standouts and offers readers a list of bottles to be discovered. When a wine provides an editor with a surprise-and-delight moment, it is deemed a “Hidden Gem.” This list serves as a guide for consumers to experience and taste a collection of special discoveries.

Last fall was also when Wine Enthusiast increased the “Best Buy” criteria from $15 a bottle to $20 a bottle to better reflect the market conditions. After a wine is blind tasted, rated and reviewed by the Wine Enthusiast tasting team, the editorial team selects wines that receive an 88+ rating for the “Best Buy” designation.

Added Strum, “Since increasing the criteria to $20 for the ‘Best Buy’ selection, Wine Enthusiast has been able to recognize more wines than ever for the quality-to-price ratio. By modernizing the criteria, our recommendations are a better market fit for today’s reader.”

For more information about Wine Enthusiast Media or how to submit wines for review, visit For more information about Wine Enthusiast Commerce, visit For media inquiries and interview requests with the Wine Enthusiast tasting team, contact Bonnary Lek.

Published on March 28, 2023