Sara d'Amato

Writer, Wine Critic, Educator, Sommelier

ara is a Toronto-based wine consultant, educator, sommelier, wine critic and principal partner with WineAlign.com, Canada’s leading online wine publication. She has worked in cellars both in Niagara and in Bordeaux, France. Sara formerly held the title of Sommelier of Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and at the Platinum Club of the Air Canada Centre. Sara writes freelance for a number of publications and travels extensively reporting on classic and emerging wine regions. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture technician program, she continues to participate in judging wine competitions across the country and internationally. Sara is the outgoing President of the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and is an instructor of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust program in Toronto with Fine Vintage Ltd. With a global perspective, Sara’s paramount focus is on southern French wine regions and she is an accredited Rhône Valley Vineyards Educator. Currently Sara is reaching consumers and trade through new mediums such as webinars and her Wine Thieves podcasts, co-hosted with John Szabo. Sara sits on the board of BUSA (Best USA Sommelier) helping to organizing the next national competition.

www.winealign.com 

www.saradamato.com

Doug Frost MS, MW

Jack of All Trades, Master of Two (or Three?)

Doug Frost is a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier as well as an author and wine consultant based in Kansas City, Missouri.  Frost is one of four individuals in the world to hold simultaneously the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles, achieving his MS in 1991 and MW in 1993. 

 

In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine.  He was the second person in history to complete both exams and more than a quarter century later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions.  According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” 

The Wine Spectator has bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Mr. Frost.  In 2006 Frost, along with partners Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Andy Seymour and David Wondrich created BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), a spirits and cocktail educational organization; Cheers Magazine selected BAR and its founders as Innovators of the Year for 2007.  Frost was awarded Beverage Innovator of the Year 2009 by Cheers Magazine.  He continues to teach and examine for BAR and within the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine programs. In the past, Frost was a fine wine wholesaler and importer for fourteen years and represented many of the best wineries and estates from America and the world. 

 

His first book, Uncorking Wine, was released in the summer of 1996, and Frost’s second book, On Wine, published by Rizzoli International, was released in the fall of 2001.  The Washington Post called it “fabulous, witty, engaging and wise… conveys more accumulated wine wisdom than most books 10 times as thick.” Frost’s most recent book, Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide, was released in October 2005; the third edition was released in 2011. He is a contributing editor for the upcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, due to be released in 2021. 

Frost is also a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, Opus Vino, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson, Lonely Planet Wine Trails, The Wine Report (edited by Tom Stevenson), and the Sotheby’s World Wine Encyclopedia.  He has written about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Underground Wine Journal, Arts Culinaire, Drinks International, Feast Magazine, Fine Cooking, Fine Wine, HER Life, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Sante Magazine, Hemispheres Magazine, Missouri Life, Sommelier Journal, Epicurious.com, Le Pan, and the Kansas City Star. 

 

Frost is the creator and host of the KCPT-TV hosted short series called FermentNation; the show has won two Mid-American Regional Emmy® Awards, in 2015 and 2017.  His previous TV show, Check Please, Kansas City!, was also nominated for a Mid-American Regional Emmy® Award. He appears as a featured judge on Public Television’s The Winemakers, PBS’s first nationally broadcast reality show.  After fifteen years, Frost continues as United Airlines global wine and spirits consultant, selecting tens of thousands of cases of wines and spirits each year for service aboard the world’s most important worldwide carrier. 

He is the founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, a twenty-year-old national competition, and is Head Judge and founder of the Mid-American Wine Competition, in its thirteenth year. 

 

He consults with many retailers, restaurateurs, wineries and distillers in the realms of marketing, merchandising, sales, education and sensory perception. Mr. Frost lives with his wife and two children in Kansas City, where he spends his spare time listening to his massive punk rock, vintage jazz and weird music collection.