An expatriate American, Joel B. Payne has lived in Europe since 1979, first in France and Italy, now in Germany, where he was thrice Germany's best sommelier. Beyond a long career as wine buyer, consultant and managing director of two large import companies and a négociant business in Bordeaux, he has been active as a wine journalist for over 30 years, including a three year stint as editor-in-chief of Meininger's Wine Business International. A regular contributor to Germany's leading wine magazines, Falstaff and Vinum, as well as the World of Fine Wine, Decanter and Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar in English, he also writes for various publications in China, Korea and Japan. However, he is best known for his German Wine Guide, which has appeared annually since 1992. A founding member of the Grand Jury Européen, he was also the president of the international circle of wine writers, FIJEV, from 2007 to 2010.