Updated Dec. 28, 2020. Schedule subject to change.
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Straight Talk with Wine Spectator is a new Instagram Live series featuring conversations with wine-and-food newsmakers. The live chats kicked off in early April amid widespread shutdowns from the COVID-19 crisis, in order to shed light on the changes and challenges these industries are facing, and have since expanded into regularly scheduled programming.
Recent editions have featured star California winemakers Mark Aubert and Thomas Rivers Brown and luminaries of the dining world, including chefs José Andrés and Emeril Lagasse and restaurateur Danny Meyer. (All previous episodes are archived on our IGTV channel for viewing anytime.)
Tune in to Straight Talk on Wine Spectator’s Instagram page, on select Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET. Plus, keep an eye on our schedule for bonus chats during the day with winemakers from Europe and other regions outside the Americas.
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 3 p.m. ET
Véronique Drouhin-Boss, winemaker, Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. From Burgundy to Oregon, Véronique Drouhin-Boss has been mastering New and Old World Pinot Noir and Chardonnay since becoming the fourth generation winemaker at the 140-year-old family estate over 30 years ago. Drouhin-Boss continues to make wine at the Willamette Valley estate, while overseeing the quality of her grand cru fleet of wines in Burgundy.
Thursday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. ET
Jean-Baptiste Rivail, CEO, Newton Vineyard, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Jean-Baptiste Rivail’s background is in international law and economics, but he also comes from a family of wine merchants who worked in the southern French Alps. Following a career as a business developer for Hennessy Cognac, Rivail joined Newton Vineyard as estate director in 2017. He runs the 560-acre St. Helena estate, mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon on steep hillsides, ranging from 500 to 1,600 feet.
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 3 p.m. ET
Axel Heinz, winemaker and estate director for Tuscany’s Ornellaia and Masseto, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Axel Heinz was born in Munich, and family connections took him to Bordeaux where he fell in love with wine. While in Bordeaux, Heinz studied agricultural science and enology, and eventually worked for Château La Dominique in Saint Émilion before joining Bolgheri’s Ornellaia in 2005. Since then, he has continued to make world-renowned wines with consistently classic ratings.
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 3 p.m. ET
Olivier Krug, managing director, Krug Champagne, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Olivier Krug is the sixth-generation director of his family’s Champagne house, and the eldest of former director Henri Krug‘s children. Krug joined the 177-year-old family business in 1989 after studying finance and economics in Paris, and was promoted to director in 2013. The Champagne house, which produces classic-rated wines year after year, was bought by luxury goods company LVMH in 1999, and recently appointed the winery’s first female chef de cave.
Thursday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m. ET
Annette Alvarez-Peters, former head of Costco Wholesale Corp.’s alcohol sales, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Annette Alvarez-Peters became a wine buyer for Costco in 1995, following brief stints in the electronics and auto departments during her 36-year career at the wholesale company. Alvarez-Peters recently retired from her position as the general merchandise manager for one of the largest wine retail programs in the world, with over $2 billion in wine sales and $4.4 billion in total beverage alcohol sales in 2018. Peters continues to pursue other projects, including Wine Unify, a diversity program which fosters wine education for underrepresented minority groups.
Thursday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m. ET
Peter Gago, winemaker, Penfolds, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Peter Gago joined Penfolds in 1989, and became chief winemaker for the Australian winery in 2002. Gago is responsible for making Grange, the winery’s flagship bottling, which won Wine Spectator‘s Wine of the Year in 1995. The Australian-British winemaker has worked to make Penfolds’ wines more expressive and balanced, but the winery continues to produce Grange according to the same formula that winemaker Max Schubert used in the 1950s, employing methods such as open-top fermentors with wooden header boards to submerge the grape skins.
In Our IGTV Archives
Mary J. Blige, founder and owner, Sun Goddess Wines, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Mary J. Blige is a nine-time Grammy Award winner and Oscar nominee whose career spans nearly three decades. Earlier this year, Blige added wine to her repertoire and launched Sun Goddess in partnership with Fantinel winery in northeast Italy. Her debut 2019 bottles include a skin-contact Pinot Grigio, reviving the ramato winemaking tradition, and a Sauvignon Blanc.
Louis-Fabrice Latour, president of Maison Louis Latour, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Louis-Fabrice Latour took over the 223-year-old Burgundian firm in 1999, following several decades of growth under his father’s leadership. Since taking control of one of the largest négociants in Burgundy, Louis-Fabrice has continued to push the boundaries, purchasing vineyards in Beaujolais and Chablis, and producing an average of 750,000 cases of wine each year.
Robin Lail, founder and owner, Lail Vineyards, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Robin Lail is a 4th generation vintner and among the biggest contributors to Napa Valley’s renowned reputation. Born to John Daniel, Jr., former owner of Inglenook and one of the greatest winemakers in California history, Lail sought to follow in her father’s footsteps. Throughout her years, she worked behind the scenes for Napa superstars Robert Mondavi, Bill Harlan, Christian Moueix, and eventually started her own winery with Philippe Melka as winemaker. Her forthcoming memoir will reflect on the forces that shaped her trajectory as a guiding light of Napa Valley.
Michel Chapoutier, owner and winemaker at M. Chapoutier, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. The Rhône’s dynamic master of Hermitage assumed control of his family’s Northern Rhône winery in 1990, and has grown the brand to become the largest vineyard owner on the prestigious hill of Hermitage. M. Chapoutier produces over 500,000 cases per year, and consistently churns out classic-rated wines.
Erwan Faiveley, CEO of Domaine Faiveley, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Erwan Faiveley is the seventh generation overseeing one of Burgundy’s largest grand cru site holders. Faiveley took over the 195-year-old family business in 2005, at the age of 25, and has since been establishing his own fingerprint on its classic-rated wines. In the past decade alone, Faiveley’s acquisitions have brought the winery’s holdings to nearly 350 acres, ranging from Chablis to the Côte Chalonnaise.
Cristie Kerr, owner and founder, Kerr Cellars, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Cristie Kerr is one of the most accomplished athletes in women’s golf, with 20 LPGA Tour wins to her name and nine Solheim Cup wins. Kerr made her wine debut with her Curvature label in 2006, partnering with Napa’s Pride Mountain Vineyards to make Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In 2013, Kerr started her Kerr Cellars venture with all-star winemaker Helen Keplinger, and has been making Pinot Noir and both red and white Bordeaux blends since then. In August, Constellation Brands took a minority stake in her wine company.
Eric Ripert, chef and owner of Le Bernardin restaurant, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Eric Ripert was born in France, but has worked in New York city since 1991, as chef and then co-owner of Le Bernardin, widely considered the best seafood-focused restaurant in the country. While his restaurant is the epitome of fine dining, Ripert has spent most of the pandemic shutdown helping a broader community, working with chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen to feed front-line workers. Le Bernardin, which holds Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for its wine list, re-opened for dinner service in its dining room on Sept. 30.
Ken Forrester, owner and winemaker, Ken Forrester Wines, hosted by associate tasting coordinator Aleks Zecevic. Ken Forrester founded his eponymous estate back in 1993, making the first vintage in 1994. Forrester is a trailblazer, committed to showcasing the potential of Chenin Blanc in South Africa, and has received a number of outstanding scores from Wine Spectator. His wines were even served at Nelson Mandela’s 85th birthday party. Apart from being a vintner, Ken is also a restaurateur.
Larry Stone, co-founder and CEO of Lingua Franca Wines, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Larry Stone started his wine career as a sommelier, becoming the 9th Master Sommelier in the United States, and left the restaurant business in 2006 to manage Rubicon Estate in Napa Valley, and later Evening Land Vineyards in Oregon. In 2013, the Seattle-native purchased a promising site in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon and planted 66 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Two years later, he founded Lingua Franca with David Honig and consulting winemaker Dominique Lafon.
CJ McCollum, NBA player and owner of Pinot Noir brand McCollum Heritage 91, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. CJ McCollum is a shooting guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, and recently launched his 2018 Pinot Noir in partnership with Oregon’s Adelsheim Vineyard.
Joel Gott, owner and winemaker, Joel Gott Wines, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Joel Gott is a fifth generation California vintner who launched his wine label in 1996 with his Amador County Zinfandel. The value-oriented vintner’s portfolio contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other wines with fruit sourced from Oregon and Washington. Gott is also part of the Three Thieves wine brand with fellow winemakers Charles Bieler and Roger Scommegna, and owns the popular Gott’s Roadside restaurants in Napa Valley.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave, Champagne Louis Roederer, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon grew up in Reims and developed an early passion for Champagne. He studied vine growing and enology at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie of Montpellier and joined Louis Roederer in 1989. A decade later, he was appointed Chef de Cave, and additionally in 2006, executive vice president in charge of the production of all the Roederer properties.
Nik Weis, owner and winemaker, Nik Weis St.-Urbans-Hof, hosted by associate tasting coordinator Aleks Zecevic. The Weis family has been making wine for more than 200 years in the small town of Leiwen in the Mosel Valley. But it wasn’t until 1947 that the now-famous St.-Urbans-Hof winery started. Nik Weis joined the estate in 1997 after studying viticulture and enology, and took charge in 2003. His passion for viticulture and his region is reflected in his wines, and even though he only produces Riesling, he likes to say that he only makes Mosel.
Katharina Prüm, owner and winemaker, Joh. Jos. Prüm, hosted by associate tasting coordinator Aleks Zecevic. The Prüms have a long history of winemaking in the Mosel, with many estates carrying the name. Maybe most famous out of them all is Joh. Jos. Prüm, which was founded in 1911. Today, the estate is run by Dr. Katharina Prüm, who has been working alongside her father Manfred for the last two decades. Prüm is dedicated to continuing the family style of producing non-dry wines of great complexity, purity of the fruit and mineral expression, as well as their renowned longevity.
Dan Petroski, winemaker at Larkmead Cellars and Massican, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Dan Petroski joined Larkmead in 2006 as an intern with no formal winemaking background. Since then, he’s been making stellar Cabernets out of Larkmead, one of Napa’s most storied estates, and Italian-inspired white wines with his personal label, Massican, which he started in 2009.
Aurelio Montes, owner and winemaker, Viña Montes, and president of Wines of Chile, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Aurelio Montes is one of Chile’s most talented winemakers, and is among the fathers of Chile’s modern wine revolution. A native of Santiago, Montes studied enology at Catholic University, graduating in 1971, then built a career working in the cellars of historic companies such as Undurraga and Viña San Pedro. In 1988, Montes started his Chilean winery from scratch with three partners, including the late Douglas Murray. Since then, the peripatetic vintner has expanded to Argentina and California with his Kaiken and Napa Angel labels respectively.
Andy Erickson, winemaker, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Erickson has become one of Napa Valley’s top winemakers over the years, consulting for top-flight Cabernet producers including Mayacamas, Dalla Valle and To Kalon Vineyard Company. The Midwest native started his career at Harlan Estate before becoming winemaker at Staglin Family Vineyards in 2001, and eventually created his own wine consulting firm, where he helped make wines for cult-Cabernet producer Screaming Eagle. Erickson and his wife and viticulturist Annie Favia also run their own winery, Favia.
Piero Antinori, honorary president of Marchesi Antinori, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Antinori has led the 26-generation family business since 1966, and helped create the super Tuscan category with the first releases of non-traditional red blends Tignanello and Solaia. The renowned vintner has also launched wine projects from Chile to Napa Valley, and received Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999.
Philippe Pascal, owner of Cellier aux Moines, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Philippe Pascal began his career at luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, advising the chairman himself, megabillionaire Bernard Arnault, before retiring to pursue Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at a 900-year-old monastery near the village of Givry. Pascal purchased Cellier aux Moines in 2004, and runs the Burgundy winery with his wife Catherine and their three children.
Rick Tigner, president and CEO of Jackson Family Wines, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Tigner joined Jackson Family Wines in 1991, following positions at E. & J. Gallo and Louis M. Martini, and became CEO in 2015. The Sonoma-based executive oversees more than 40 wineries worldwide, including Kendall-Jackson, in locations throughout California, Oregon, France, Italy, Chile, Australia, and South Africa.
Charles Springfield, sommelier, educator and author, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. The New York-based sommelier specializes in teaching wine courses, hosting wine-related events and promoting wine appreciation through his lifestyle marketing company. Last year, Springfield released his first wine education book, “The Less is More Approach to Wine”, and recently published his newest book, “Maneuvering Rosé Wine with Style.”
Greg and Morgan Norman, founder and proprietor, respectively, of Greg Norman Estates, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Greg Norman is a professional golfer-turned-businessman whose Great White Shark Enterprises designs and builds golf courses, among numerous other ventures. Norman started his Australian Shiraz and Cabernet label in 1996, and has since expanded the collection to New Zealand and California varieties. His daughter, Morgan, has been playing a bigger role in the family business with her marketing and brand redesign strategies.
Bart and Jaime Araujo, owners of Accendo Cellars, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Bart Araujo’s journey to Napa started in 1990, when he and his wife, Daphne, became proprietors of the historic Eisele Vineyard and launched Araujo Estate Wines, which was later bought by French billionaire François Pinault. Now, Bart and his daughter Jaime are partners at the Cabernet estate, with Jaime also spearheading her own brand, Trois Noix, on the side.
Rajat Parr, sommelier, author and proprietor/partner at Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi Wines in California and Evening Land Vineyards in Oregon, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Parr was born in Calcutta, India, and made his way to the U.S. after high school, eventually graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1996. Parr climbed the ranks of sommelier stardom and became wine director at the Michael Mina restaurant group in 2003, and pivoted to winemaking shortly after in Santa Barbara’s Sta. Rita Hills, then Oregon where his three wine labels specialize in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Parr is also the author of “Secrets of the Sommeliers” and “The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste.”
Lamberto Frescobaldi, president of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. In the mid-1980s, the Tuscan aristocrat spent four years in California studying viticulture and enology at UC Davis, and from the mid-1990s until 2004 developed a partnership in Tuscany with Robert Mondavi. Today, Frescobaldi leads his family’s 700-year-old wine business, whose wine empire includes 10 Tuscan estates, from Chianti’s Castella Nipozzano to Bolgheri’s Ornellaia and Masseto.
Cathy Corison, winemaker at Corison Winery, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. The Napa-based winemaker started her Cabernet journey nearly 45 years ago, when Napa only had 30 wineries to its name. After working at Chappellet in the 1980s, Corison consulted with Rombauer, Etude and Staglin, and eventually started her small, family-run winery in 1987.
Charles Woodson, owner of Intercept Wines, hosted by senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec. Woodson is a Heisman Trophy winner, Super Bowl champion and former NFL Defensive MVP. In 2005, he got his start in the wine business with TwentyFour, a high-end Cabernet label out of Napa, and recently launched Intercept, a collection of Paso Robles and Monterey wines comprising Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a red blend.
Eben Sadie, winemaker at Sadie Family Wines, hosted by associate tasting coordinator Aleks Zecevic. Sadie is one of the trailblazers of South African winemakers, known for embracing the forgotten old vines of South Africa and promoting the heritage of the country. He founded his winery back in 1999, after working at Spice Route, and since then has become an almost celebrity in the world of wine, crafting single-vineyard bottlings that have inspired a whole new generation of South African winemakers.
Ben Aneff, president of the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance and managing partner at Tribeca Wine Merchants, hosted by news editor Mitch Frank. In 2006, Aneff got his start in the wine trade by joining Tribeca Wine Merchants, a New York-based wine shop specializing in Burgundy, and eventually became managing partner in 2014. Earlier this year, Aneff became president of the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance, which represents members of the U.S. wine industry who oppose wine tariffs.
Tonya Pitts, wine director, One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Pitts, who also worked at Zuni Café and Stars in San Francisco, oversees a 600-selection list that holds a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. She serves on the advisory board of Wine Unify.
Terry Arnold, senior vice president, human resources, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. With approximately 20,000 employees, SGWS is the nation’s largest distributor; Arnold, a former captain in the U.S. Army, is responsible for developing and implementing policies to manage and motivate this team. Among his leadership roles is working with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
André Mack, sommelier, vintner and author, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Mack got his start as a sommelier at the Palm in San Antonio, and eventually became head sommelier at chef Thomas Keller’s Grand Award winner Per Se in New York. Mack founded Maison Noir, his Oregon wine label, in 2007, and also became a restaurateur and wine shop owner with & Sons, a ham bar in Brooklyn, and neighboring Vyne Yard.
Julia Coney, journalist and educator, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Coney has been a wine writer and educator since 2016. She is an advocate for diversity in the wine industry and recently founded Black Wine Professionals, devoted to finding and developing talented new voices.
Will Blackmon, former NFL star and owner of The Wine MVP, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Nicknamed “The NFL Wine Guy,” Blackmon is a former Super Bowl champion whose client-based service covers personal wine buying, educational opportunities, private events and a monthly subscription wine box.
Brenae Royal, vineyard manager, Monte Rosso vineyard, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Royal manages a historic California vineyard that dates to the late 1800s, and is now owned by E. & J. Gallo.
Mac McDonald, owner and winemaker of Vision Cellars, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. The Sonoma-based winemaker fell in love with Burgundian-style Pinot Noir at an early age, and focuses on making complex Pinot Noir in California. McDonald is also the founder and chairman of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV), a voice for Black-owned wineries and winemakers.
Carlton McCoy, CEO of Heitz Cellar, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. McCoy is a Master Sommelier and former wine director at Grand Award–winning restaurant the Little Nell. McCoy joined the legendary Napa winery in 2018, teaming with agriculture magnate and owner Gaylon Lawrence Jr.
Anthony Hamilton Russell, owner of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, hosted by associate tasting coordinator Aleks Zecevic. Hamilton Russell is the second generation family owner of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, the pioneering Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist in the strongly maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, 75 miles southeast of Cape Town in South Africa. Anthony is entering his 30th year at the helm as Hamilton Russell Vineyards celebrates its 40th vintage of estate grown Pinot Noir.
Film producer and importer Martine Saunier of Martine’s Wines, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Saunier was a pioneer in French estates, introducing Leroy, Henri Jayer and Château Rayas to the U.S.
David Ramey, owner and winemaker, Ramey Wine Cellars, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Ramey has influenced California’s Chardonnay supremacy during a winemaking career spanning nearly 40 years.
Roger Nabedian, general manager of E. & J. Gallo’s premium wine division, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Nabedian’s portfolio includes 15 wineries in premier grape-growing areas of California and Washington; its LUX Wines division imports iconic wineries from Italy.
Christian Navarro, president of Wally’s Wines & Spirits, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Wally’s, with locations in Beverly HIlls and Santa Monica, is known for its large wine selection and star clientele. Its in-house restaurant holds a Grand Award.
Winemaker Paul Hobbs, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Hobbs, based in Sonoma County, excels with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and consults with wineries around the world.
Chris Carpenter, winemaker at Jackson Family Wines, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Carpenter focuses on the small-production, highly focused wines beneath the company’s umbrella, including Lokoya, Mt. Brave, La Jota and Cardinale.
Grand Award–winning chef Charlie Palmer, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. Palmer’s restaurants, in New York, Washington, D.C., Nevada and California wine country, hold seven Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.
Aviram Turgeman, wine director at Chef Driven Restaurant Group, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth. Chef Driven holds eight Awards from Wine Spectator for their wine lists, including a Grand Award at New York’s Nice Matin.
Marcello Fiorentino, chef and owner of Grand Award winner Marcello’s La Sirena, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews. La Sirena, family-owned since 1986, is located in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Diana Snowden Seysses, winemaker at Snowden Vineyards and Domaine Dujac, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Maison Louis Jadot president Pierre-Henry Gagey, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Argentinian vintner Laura Catena, managing director of Catena Zapata, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
French vintner Jean-Charles Cazes, owner of Château Lynch Bages and general manager of Famille JM Cazes, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Importer, marketer and vintner Bill Terlato, CEO of Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Megastar singer P!nk (Alecia Moore), owner of Two Wolves Wine, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
South African vintner Jean Engelbrecht, proprietor of Rust en Vrede, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
California vintner Bill Price, owner of Three Sticks, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Joe Wagner, founder and CEO of Copper Cane Wines, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Michael Quinttus, president and CEO of importer Vintus, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Napa grape king Andy Beckstoffer, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Sherry-Lehmann CEO Chris Adams, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Wilson Daniels president Rocco Lombardo, hosted by senior editor Bruce Sanderson
Chef Emeril Lagasse, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews
Restaurateur Danny Meyer, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews
California Chardonnay master Mark Aubert, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Napa winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés, hosted by executive editor Thomas Matthews
Altamarea Group beverage director Hristo Zisovski, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Symington Family Estates CEO Rupert Symington, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Heitz Cellar CEO Carlton McCoy, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth
Importer Michael Skurnik, hosted by senior editor James Molesworth