IlonaIlona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.


She is a contributor to Wine Behind the Label (now in its 10th edition) and has written for a multitude of wine, food and lifestyle publications, such as 7×7, Artful Living, Drink Me, Glass of Bubbly, Snooth, Very Napa Valley, and others. Post her successful stints in fine art and wine businesses, she pursued her passion for writing. She splits her time between visiting wine regions worldwide, attending trade and consumer tastings, taking professional development courses and judging at wine competitions. She studied at the Culinary Institute of America, (CIA) and holds a California Wine Appellation Specialist certification (CWAS). Her recent international destinations include multiple regions in France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand as well as the Cayman Islands and Tahiti. Stateside, she has spent the last several years extensively covering Napa, Sonoma and Anderson Valley, Central Coast, Paso Robles, Lodi and Livermore wine regions.


Ilona covered a multitude of notable events, such as Auction Napa Valley, Aspen Classic, Harvest Summit, Naples Winter Wine Festival, New York City Food & Wine, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Sonoma Harvest Weekend, Sun Valley Wine Auction, ViniSud, Vino2017 and others. She has interviewed countless celebrity chefs, vintners, winemakers, and other food and wine influencers. She has earned a “Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogger Award” from Exel Wines, was chosen as a Finalist in both Wine Blogger Awards and in Wine Reporting category by Millesima Wine Writing Awards She is a speaker, expert digital communicator and avid photographer.


Ilona is ranked in the top 1% of all social media influencers, according to Klear Analytics, and has a score of 950 on Kred.

By The Numbers

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Where In The World Have I Been?
Who I've Written For

Drink Me Magazine

Drink Me brings you the entire world of drinks, from the best new spirits to killer wines, craft beers, and everything in between. We spend our days scouring the world for the best imbibables around, the coolest equipment to help you make the most of your drinking life, and advice and know-how from the people shaping the way we all sip and swirl and savor. DrinkMeMag.com, originally an off-shoot of Drink Me Magazine, has become the go-to resource for drinks professionals and consumers around the world. With the new DrinkMeMag.com, and our team of some of the best writers in the industry, our readers have access to all of our game-changing content on a daily basis. Stop by for in-depth investigative stories on the craft, culture, and history of drink; scroll through our exhaustive, ever-growing lists of must-haves; stay for our travel coverage, interviews with industry icons, product reviews, and so much more. DrinkMeMag.com harnesses all of our access and expertise, and offers it in an always evolving, easy-to-search daily dose.



Whether one is just a beginner, or a total pro, Snooth offers its 1 million+ users countless opportunities to learn, taste, share and shop in the world of wine.


Members are able to interact with wineries, stores, fellow wine lovers, and wine professionals from all over the globe with Snooth’s daily newsletters, wine search, social forums and interactive media tools.


Since its launch in June 2007, Snooth has become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive online wine destinations, featuring millions of price listings and wine reviews. Snooth also powers wine & food pairings for major sites including Epicurious.com (Conde Nast) and myRecipes.com (Time Inc).


Why drink alone? Grab a glass and join the fun!

Wine Behind The Label contains the most accurate information possible about wineries and their wines as it relies on a network of some of the biggest names in the international wine writing community to help compile many of the chapters, profiles and wine ratings. It is their work and expertise that has helped Wine Behind The Label become seen as THE reference book for professional and amateur wine lovers alike.


The 10th edition includes full profiles of 3,700 wineries, including 160 new entries. There are 6,000 wineries featured in total, with over 19,000 different wines rated and scored.


The guide has been updated to include all the latest wines and ratings from the 2015 northern hemisphere vintage and the 2016 vintage in the southern hemisphere.


Contributors to the 10th edition include Jim Budd (Loire Valley) , Michael Edwards (Champagne and Burgundy), Professor Kathleen Burk (Germany, Austria and Virginia), Gary White (Portugal and South America), Ilona Thompson, (West Coast of the USA). It also includes work from previous contributors, including Sarah Ahmed, Maggie Rosen and Stuart George.


A key feature of the Wine Behind The Label guide is its full range of regional maps, with great detail of all the main wine producing areas of the world.


It also includes comprehensive glossaries for wine and viticulture terms along with a guide to all the main grape varieties.


Previous editions of the guide have received international acclaim. The most recent coming from the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne  et du Vin which earlier this year gave it a special prize in its international wine awards for its contribution to wine education and knowledge.

Proud Member Of...



The International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) is now a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, and the people who promote them.


IFWTWA was formed in 1981 in California. It was conceptualized, based on a Paris group who reviewed restaurants starting in the 50s.
Our members cover a broad spectrum of travel destination attractions such as active and passive adventure activities, ecology, historical features, culture, fairs, festivals and special events. Many of our members’ writing niches include food and wine or the drink of the region as well as the culture and history.


IFWTWA strives to be a gathering point and resource base for an active membership composed of professionals engaged in the food, wine and travel industries. The association’s membership includes professionals in culinary arts and sciences, the wine growing and production industry, and in the hotel and hospitality management industries and public relations.


Keep your power network strong! Connect to an exclusive online community of dynamic, intelligent, accomplished women from varying backgrounds and fields to enhance your business and career success.


Our vibrant networking community provides a personal forum for you to promote your business, product or service, share ideas and expand your network. Chapter Presidents often invite guest speakers to Chapter meetings, enriching the breadth and depth of your professional knowledge. NAPW Local Chapters also help make a difference in their communities and the world through monthly philanthropic initiatives that raise awareness of issues and causes impacting their communities and the world.

Praise for PalateXposure
Robert Irvine, Chef and Host of "Restaurant Impossible"

Thanks for listening deeply and capturing who I truly am...seriously loved it. You are an amazing writer. Can't thank you enough.

Love reading your work. You put thought, time & effort into each post and it shows. Not only is the writing done well, but I also like your clean layout of the site and the easy to read format and photos.

Amy Lieberfarb, Wine Writer
Cynthia Lohr, Vice President of Marketing, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Your beautiful blog is outstanding. You have a sensual and evocative way of word painting.

This is an amazing piece that covers every conceivable touch point about tasting wine and deriving a complete sense about the essence of doing so. It’s like one major note about the way some of the best notes for wine are drummed up and expressed.

Tom Schreckinger, Director of Communications chez Caves d'Esclans Sacha Lichine