Le Metro is the world’s most cutting edge wine club. Our team of collaborators includes innovative wine professionals, writers, and artists, each of whom has left an indelible mark.
Tina Morey, Operations
Curator Volumes XXVI -
Although Tina is quite the idealist, she does extol the notion of “it is what it is,” especially true for wine. Tina has always been in the food business one way or another, studying first as pastry chef and directing her own wedding cake company then onto Certified Sommelier. Peddling wine is a heck of a lot more fun though, especially when researching and buying for Le Metro. PROTOCOL wine studio, our parent company, is the ideal wine think tank that allows each of us to continue our wine studies and find new direction in the wine industry. Tina continues on the long road towards Master of Wine with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Eric GUY is a transplant from the corporate world who jumped into wine driven by a moment of inspiration. It’s been a whirlwind decade since he made the change and it’s taken all this time for him to understand that while wine inspires him, entrepreneurialism drives him. He loves working with the myriad of moving parts required to create a world-class wine subscription service. Moreover, he relishes collaborating with the diverse and heartening personalities that have come together for this enterprise. Aside from long days working with Le Metro, GUY studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a partner at PROTOCOL wine studio.
Aaron Epstein, Winedad.com
Founder, Curator Volumes I – XXV
Aaron is a writer, dreamer, wine geek, and stay-at-home dad. He’s studied, sold, and written about wine since before he could legally drink it, and has traveled the world to work in almost every aspect of the wine industry. In addition to Le Metro Wine, Aaron’s writing has been featured in Edible San Diego, Riviera San Diego, Wine Folly, and Grape Collective, and in 2015, he was proud to be included in Imbibe Magazine’s annual list of ”75 People, Places, and Flavors that will shape the way you drink.” In September 2015 Aaron and his family will be embarking on a yearlong adventure in China; you can track their exploits at The Winedad and TrailingToddler, or by following @TheWinedad on Twitter or Instagram.
Janine Donston, Schooler Donston Photography
Illustration, Volumes XXX – XXXII
Located in San Diego, Janine’s love of flowers, nature, and the ocean started her interest in photography. She enjoys presenting some of her subjects from unusual angles, and under different lighting sources, with the hope of putting a new twist on a traditional view. She’s also adding a few images using “grunge” techniques.
Reba McConnell, East Beach Art
Illustration, Volumes XXVII – XXVIX
A Virginia Beach local and self taught artist Reba embraces living near the coast! Life by the water has inspired her to follow her passion as a watercolorist. The blend of her salt water experiences has helped launch many of her series that include beach related paintings, surf art, mermaids, beach babes, funky crabs,, classic cars and many more! Reba’s custom commissioned work can be seen throughout Hampton Roads and internationally.
Sid Katragadda, Sid’s Art Co
Illustration, Volumes XXIV – XXVI
Sid Katragadda is a California-based internationally acclaimed artist and his artwork is collected worldwide. He was born in India and moved to America in his twenties. His work is highly influenced by both the East and the West.
Ray Ferrer, Urban Wall Art
Illustration, Volumes XXI – XXIII
Ray Ferrer is an internationally recognized artist who traded in his MBA for spray paint. Through his work, he seeks to utilize various harmonies and ideas to visually engage the audience. Ray also uses his art as an opportunity to experiment with the range of possibilities allowed through his choice of materials, spray paint and hand cut stencils. Ray’s work captures spaces of partial or full illumination between the perfect shadows on all sides of a person or an object. The artwork conveys the real beauty of the subject. The viewer is able to appreciate the simplicity, splendor and exquisiteness of Ray’s work and the subject. The work is raw, it’s stripped back, and it’s honest.
Igor Koutsenko, Igor Koutsenko Art
Illustration, Volumes XVII – XX
Igor Koutsenko was born in Evpatoria, a resort city on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea. At the age of eleven he was accepted based on his talent to the adult art studio directed by the acclaimed artist Zvyagintesev, and was later educated at the Penza School of Art where he received rigorous training in the old traditions of Russian realist art. After living and working in Moscow for several years, Koutsenko immigrated to the United States in 1992 and settled in Oklahoma City where he taught fine art at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 1998 he visited Southern California and was attracted by its beautiful scenery and climate, which reminded him of his boyhood surroundings in Crimea. Since moving to Southern California he continues to produce original work at his private studio in Fallbrook. Igor also teaches drawing and painting classes at the Fallbrook School of The Arts.
Elaine Chukan Brown, Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews
Illustration, Volumes V – XVII
Elaine Chukan Brown originally began writing about wine as a diversion from her career as a professional philosopher. She has since given herself to wine. Her work appears in World of Fine Wine, Wine & Spirits, Serious Eats, Men’s Health, and on her own website WakawakaWineReviews.com. In 2014, Imbibe Magazine selected her as one of their Imbibe 75 People to Watch. Previously, she served as Dartmouth College’s Charles A Eastman Fellow, and a McGill University Tomlinson Fellow, among others. Prior to her academic career, Elaine was a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Wesley Samuelstuen-Bruce, The Curious Life
Illustration, Volumes I-IV
Wes is a son, a husband to his best friend Emi, a brother-in-law, a friend, and a person in pursuit of curiosity. He’s also a visual artist, fort-builder, illustrator, art director, graphic designer, set designer, educator, photographer, and explorer. He grew up in the woods of Northern California between lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and loves wild places. He believes our potential experiences with imagination, creativity, and curiosity to be dynamic, life-changing, and profound. He hopes that the things he makes creatively connect people, inspire them to act on big ideas, and live with passion. His creative practice is rooted in this simple fact: “The world will never lack for wonders, only wonder.” – G. K. Chesterton
Sean Kelley, Mother Sponge Design
Design, Brand Identity, Inspiration
Sean Kelley is Creative Director and founder of Mother Sponge, a brand development & design studio based in San Diego. Señor Kelley loves helping food & bev folks find their voice, connect with their patrons, and build their reputation. Do not use the term “branding” (i.e., brand as a verb) in the presence of Sean without scheduling ample time for a lengthy and profound knowledge-dropping session (over a bottle of pinot) at MoSpo headquarters in Barrio Logan. Sean and his wife Stacy (A.K.A. Señorita Kelley, interior design minded partner in MoSpo) live with their bullheaded son Harlan in a tiny Spanish-style home from the ’20s, surrounded by art and design objects created by friends and family.