Contributors | Catavino
Great and credible information with a fresh approach about Portuguese and Spanish wine and food. Not to mention, fantastic info about new trends as well as age-old traditions from the vibrant Iberian peninsula.
Bento Amaral


Ryan OpazRyan Opaz

Born in Minnesota, Ryan is the co-founder of, Born Digital Wine Awards and the Digital Wine Communications Conference. Although a chef at heart, Ryan’s time is spent giving workshops and speeches internationally on social media and blogging for wineries. Examples of his work include: Wine Future, London International Wine Fair 2009, 2010, Essência do Vinho, London Boutique Winery Tasting, Bibendum Annual Tasting, Congreso Internacional de Turismo Enologico, International Wine Tourism Conference & Workshop in Sitges, Fine Wine. A Certified Sherry Educator and Knight of the Port Wine Brotherhood. Ryan is always available for consulting: Contact Ryan
Ryan’s Story Archive

Gabriella OpazGabriella Opaz

Born and bred in Chicago, IL, Gabriella is the co-founder of and the Digital Wine Communicator’s Conference. Considered the “Little Engine that Could”, Gabriella is the motor behind Catavino’s projects, giving them life and fruition. Member of the Wine Century Club, a Certified Sherry Educator, previous Editor for Palate Press, award winning speaker, and a post graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Education, she can be contacted at Gabriella
Gabriella’s Story Archive

Andrea Smith

Andrea moved to Campo de Ourique, Lisbon, in early 2008 with a dream to work and learn more about Portuguese wine. Born in Northern Virginia in 1983, Andrea’s Italian family taught her the importance of pairing fresh food with great wine, eventually motivating her to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where she earned an Associates and Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Business Management, as well as her Introductory Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2004. Andrea uses her love of culture, gastronomy and language to research the hidden recipes and wines of Portugal. Check out more opportunities to join Andrea’s food and wine experiences at An American In Portugal Tours .
Andrea’s Story Archive

Sonia Nolasco

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Sonia grew up in New Jersey’s Ironbound-Newark community where a vibrant Portuguese immigrant enclave exists. Sonia’s passion for Portugal and its food and wine eventually led her to Catavino. Currently focused on creative writing, Sonia spent several years in newspapers, magazines and public relations. At home, she is dedicated to recreating family recipes and experimenting with Portuguese wine pairings. Her very personal, long-term goal is to continue finding ways to help promote Portugal’s Beira Baixa region, its gastronomy and wine. It is the region where Bemposta do Campo is located. The sleepy, rural village where Sonia spent summers playing as her grandparents farmed and produced their homemade foods—including wine.
Sonia’s Story Archive

Sam ZuckerSam Zucker

Sam is originally from Boston, MA. USA. He studied ecology and Spanish language during his undergraduate degree at Hampshire College (Amherst, MA). He then went on to train as a chef at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) and earn an introductory certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2013. He currently lives in Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain and works as a culinary tour operator and food/travel writer for several outlets, including his blog:  Zucker & Spice Travel.
Sam’s Story Archive

Robert McIntoshRobert McIntosh

London based wine blogger, Robert worked in the UK wine trade for importers as well as representing wineries. Better known by his online moniker, thirstforwine, Robert grew up in Italy, Mexico, the USA, and a brief, but memorable time in Bulgaria. His background is marketing in business publishing and events, but after discovering wine during his days at St. Andrews University, it has become an increasingly important part of his life. Robert began blogging in 2006 and, thanks to the many great friends and contacts made through social media, is the co-founder of the DWCC – Digital Wine Communications Conference and one of the Vrazon team.
Robert’s Story Archive

John PerryJohn Perry

After eight years as a lifestyle journalist in Spain, John decided to abandon his career in favor of brighter pastures and earned a Masters in Wine Marketing from the University of South Australia. Upon returning to his hometown in Logroño (La Rioja) in 2010, he was irretrievably launched into the wine business when he started working for one of the oldest wineries in the region. Supported by the gracious congeniality and great passion for wine he inherited from his parents -who both have over 30 years of experience in the industry-; today, he travels the world representing his brands as part of the winery’s export team. John is proud both to learn something new about wine every day and to continue with his other passion: communicating the things he discovers through writing.
John’s Story Archive

RochelleRamos (1)Rochelle Ramos

Originating from the Pacific Northwest region on the US, Rochelle grew up on a small farm where she learned the importance of good food. Now living on a small quinta in the Ribatejo region of Portugal, she has made it her job to research and learn the food culture and stories behind her new home. This has led to a need to share her findings with others who are interested in the beautifully simple and rustic gastronomy of Portugal through photography and writing. A professional photographer and writer, Rochelle’s work has been published on a variety of online food magazines and can be found on her personal blog at Acquired Life.
Rochelle’s Story Archive

Melissa LeightyMelissa Leighty

Melissa Leighty is freelance writer and photographer living in Barcelona, Spain. She has work appearing or forthcoming in Colloquium, Salt, English Journal, The Culture Trip, and All Those. When she’s not traveling the globe in search of new tastes and inspiration, you can find her at work on her first cookbook about Catalan cuisine. Visit her at and follow her latest culinary adventures on her food blog, Tartine and Bean, or on Instagram @mpleighty.
Melissa’s Story Archive

Cathy FisherCathy Fisher

Cathy is a lawyer and a writer living in Portugal. She has lived in South America, the Caribbean and all over the U.S.’s East coast; she has also spent time working in Paris and in London. Along the way, she developed a passion for wine and deepened her appreciation for travel. She is equally passionate about health and well-being, and is currently working on a book about type 1 diabetes. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Cathy is completing her Diploma studies at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. She is a Member of the New York Bar.
Cathy’s Story Archive