Sunday Spotlight

Shedding some light on your favorite wine writers.

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jensson

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys, are wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators, television presenters, emcees, and hosts.  They are award-winning journalists as well as best-selling and award-winning authors.  Mike and Jeff are the Entertaining and Lifestyle Editors at Wine Enthusiast Magazine and Media Company. They have been featured guests on The TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Better TV, and the CBS, FOX, Hallmark, WGN, and NBC networks. DeSimone and Jenssen are the authors of five books (so far) including Wines Of California: The Comprehensive Guide, Wines Of California: Special Deluxe Edition, Wines Of The Southern Hemisphere, which won the Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Book in the USA; and RED WINE with co-author Kevin Zraly, which won the Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Book in the World and was honored at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and the Alfred NOBEL House in Sweden. They are also the authors of the Fire Island Cookbook.

1. What were your first jobs as writers?

We first started writing for International Living about life in Spain. We bought a house on the Costa del Sol in 2004 and began writing articles about life in southern Spain. The pieces focused on holidays, how we spent our free time, and the quality of life there. Because they were always written in first person, the articles were published under only one of our names at a time, although we worked on them together.

2. What led you to becoming wine writers?

Although we previously had other careers and began writing while still holding other jobs, we are both immensely attracted to the wine lifestyle and to the people who make wine and the places where grapes are grown and wine is made. Mike studied journalism in college, and Jeff worked as a sommelier while he was in grad school, and we combined our passion and talent to forge a path on which we could work together. We love telling the stories behind the wine and getting other people as excited about what’s in their glass as we are.

3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?

It all depends on what we are writing and where it is being published. Some of our articles are basic “Wine 101,” aimed at people who are somewhat new to wine and are trying to improve their knowledge base. We also write articles that include recipes and pairing advice for those who enjoy drinking wine but want to be more comfortable with choosing the right wine to match the dishes they are serving. When we are writing our own books, we try to keep the language engaging and lively while addressing a variety of readers. We have heard from beginning wine lovers and Master of Wine candidates alike that they enjoy our books and use them to increase their knowledge.

4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?

Without a doubt, Rangiroa, a coral island near Tahiti in the South Pacific. There is a winery there called Vin de Tahiti, and the vines are grown atop a coral atoll. Grapes are grown in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but this is a truly extraordinary location. The vineyards can only be reached by motorboat, and you cruise across a shallow, turquoise-hued lagoon under the bluest sky you have ever seen.

Read Mike and Jeff’s article here:

5. What was one of your favorite articles to write, and why?

One that comes to mind is a recent pairing article we wrote for Wine Enthusiast. In print, it was titled The Luxe Supper, while online it was called Three Restaurant-Worthy Steaks to Make at Home. It came out just before the holidays in 2020, and in a year filled with loss, grief, and sacrifice, we encouraged people to treat themselves to the type of meal they would normally enjoy at a high-end steakhouse paired with very good—and expensive—wine. What’s exciting for us is that the recipes were very popular online, especially the Prime Rib and Porterhouse. We are both avid home cooks, and we like to know that we empowered a lot of people to experiment in the kitchen and drink the good stuff! 
World Wine Guys

Mike DeSimone and

Jeff Jenssen

Wine, spirits, food, and travel writers, educators, television presenters, emcees, and hosts

Follow the World Wine Guys on Social:

6. What is the best advice someone has given you on your writing?

Keep traveling, meeting new people, and visiting new regions. Never assume you know it all, and let your excitement come through on the page. 

7. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing about wine?

Drinking it! 

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Doug Frost MW MS

Doug Frost

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Bernie Sun

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