Angus is a Sydney-based wine journalist and speaker with over 15 years of drinks writing and judging experience. This includes authoring the first imported wine guide in Australia, Worldwine, Australian Editor for Vinous, Drinks Editor for Wish Magazine in The Australian newspaper for over a decade and contributor to a number of publications including Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, Qantas Magazine, Mindfood and Wine Business Monthly.
Jeni Port is one of Australia's top wine communicators and judges. Based in Melbourne, Jeni was the longest-serving wine writer on The Age newspaper and continues to write for most Australian wine magazines including Winestate, Wine Selector, Halliday Wine Companion magazine, Gourmet Traveller WINE, Winning and Il Tridente. She was named Wine Communicator of the Year and Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in 2014 and in 2018 was named Legend of the Vine.
Ken was born and bred in Brisbane, Queensland. He had a non-trendy, perfectly happy childhood, in a family convinced alcohol meant instant condemnation to Hades. But a break fishing on the Great Barrier Reef, and some good wine, started a serious obsession that eventually took over. It did not stop Ken being chastised later for drinking Pol champagne, disgusted he’d drink anything made by a Cambodian dictator. Now, Ken mostly writes on wine, champagne and spirits for various newspapers, magazines and books, but is perhaps best known for his work in The Courier Mail. He also has a little sideline writing on cigars, fishing, travel and food. When not writing, fly-fishing for trout in NZ or bonefish on the flats of Cuba, travelling or smoking cigars, he is no doubt following a variety of sporting teams – the occasionally glorious Queensland Reds rugby, the dysfunctional Washington Redskins, the dodgy Arsenal and especially revels in the world restored to its proper axis with the return of the Ashes to their rightful home.
Shanteh cut her teeth at Sydney’s Award-Winning Quay restaurant where she worked for over a decade and was Head Sommelier from 2018 till 2022. She has been nominated for the Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year award on three occasions and claims that her experience as a Len Evans scholar as one of the highlights of her career. Shanteh hosts her own weekly podcast ‘Over A Glass’ with the Deep in the Weeds Network and spends her time writing for various publications and judging at numerous wine shows across the country.
Ray Jordan has been writing about wine for more than 40 years. His first articles were published in the early issues of national wine magazine Winestate in the late 1970s when he worked in Sydney as a newspaper correspondent. From 1989 Ray wrote more than 3000 columns as a regular newspaper wine columnist. He currently writes a regular column for the special business publication Business News and is one of the main contributors to national wine platform Wine Pilot. In 2017 Ray co-authored The Way it Was – A History of The Early Days of the Margaret River Wine Industry and previously wrote Wine in the Blood: Australia’s Family Wine Estates, published in Mandarin and English. In 2011 Ray was awarded WA Wine Press Club Jack Mann Memorial Medal for his contribution to the WA wine industry. His love of wine is as strong as his love of the blues and tasting the thousands of wines that cross his bench each year allows him to indulge in both.
Jane Skilton MW
Jane began her wine career in London and completed the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits in 1988, and the Master of Wine in 1993. In 2000 Jane and her family moved to New Zealand where she established the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, teaching WSET qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers. Jane is a Certified Educator and whilst most of her time is spent delivering wine courses around New Zealand, she travels internationally to teach too. Jane enjoys judging both national and international wine shows and has been a guest international judge in Rutherglen, Brisbane, Margaret River, Limestone Coast, Cowra, Hobart, Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and London. She contributes to a number of wine publications both in New Zealand and overseas, loves wine in all its forms (especially gewürztraminer, Sherry, Madeira and Champagne), though is not overly fond of cabernet franc.
Tony is best known for his 10 years as News Corp’s National Wine Writer, with weekly columns in major metropolitan mastheads throughout Australia including The Adelaide Advertiser, The Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Melbourne Herald Sun. He continues to write feature articles and columns for all the major Australian wine media publications. Tony has also worked as a restaurant reviewer, section editor, book editor, digital content provider, journalism teacher and was named Wine Communicators of Australia 2018 Legend of the Vine (SA). Find out more about Tony at tonylove.com.au
Annette Lacey MW
Annette is currently the Group Beverage Manager for Solotel, a diverse hospitality group also having worked in some of Sydney’s finest restaurants as a sommelier including Banc, Claudes and Marque. She completed the rigorous Masters of Wine programme in 2020, was a professional winner in the 2014 Vin de Champagne Award, a Len Evans scholar and wine judge. She also is a fantastic communicator in wine and sprits including as a lecturer for the WSET.
Morgan Dunn is a Melbourne based sommelier with over 10 years of experience. He wrote a regular wine column for The Australian and has contributed to various publications including Noble Rot. In 2017 he was named 'Emerging Wine Writer of the Year' at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards as well as receiving the Wine Communicators of Australia award for 'Best Published Feature Article or Wine Column'. He speaks Japanese and is planning to write a book on Tokyo wine bars and wine culture in Japan when travel resumes. In his spare time Morgan plays piano, snowboards and goes to Escape Rooms with his twin brother.
Nicole loves wine. So much so that she gave up a successful career in Pharmacy, perfected her spitting technique, and moved from sunny Queensland to the wine-drenched laneways of Melbourne. Stints in hospitality, wineries, retail, sales and marketing filled the next few years while Nicole built her knowledge and searched for the right path. She completed the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma in 2016 and became a certified WSET Educator the following year. She now juggles a number of roles including teaching people about wine, curating wines lists for restaurants and bars, judging in Australian wine shows and, of course, writing. In 2016 she won the Negociants Working With Wine writing award and has since contributed to Gourmet Traveller WINE, Halliday Wine Companion Magazine and Nourish Magazine.
Melissa began her hospitality career in London working for the Rolling Stones, returning to Australia in the 90’s at the dawn of the wine bar explosion in Melbourne to develop a deep love of wine, restaurants, beaches and much warmer weather. She has judged at several national and local wine shows including The Royal Sydney Show, the NSW Wine Awards and the Alternative Varieties Show, and contributed to the Sydney Morning Herald with wine selection articles.
Melissa is a scholar of the Len Evans’ Tutorial and was dux of the 2019 New Zealand Family of Twelve Tutorial. She was previously Head Sommelier at Merivale for four years, and is now Wine Buyer for Good Pair Days, Australia’s fastest growing wine company. Her other loves include music - she was a DJ on Bondi FM radio - and her family. She lives in Bondi.
David is a consultant of wine, beverages & gastronomy. A passionate professional, with rounded expertise: from wine & fruit production as an Agricultural Engineer; marketing, wine trends and wine business as a wine merchant; buying, stock management and financial management as a wine & beverage manager; assessing wines as an international wine judge and considerable consumer and food & wine pairing knowledge as the co-author of PAIRED vol1. Champagne & Sparkling Wines - The Food & Wine Matching recipe book for everyone.
For over 19 years, Emma’s passion for the wine industry has produced award-winning wine lists across top venues in Perth. As Director of Wine for the State Buildings & Como The Treasury, Emma’s invaluable insights and industry-wide network enables her to curate unique wine lists and wine events for each of the award-winning restaurants at the State Buildings, including Wildflower, Long Chim, Post, Petition Kitchen and Wine Merchant. Emma also creates world-class experiences for the guests of the 48 room luxury hotel. For two years, Emma studied under the guidance of Dr Steve Charters, Master of Wine. Since then, Emma has worked as a Sommelier and consulted on various wine lists and menus, earning her recognition through numerous awards. With her finger firmly on the pulse of the wine industry, Emma has been selected as a judge for many wine shows including Young Gun of Wine Awards, South Australia’s Hot 100, Drink Easy Awards, WAGFG WA Wine Awards, Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show, James Halliday Cabernet Challenge and Australian Chenin Blanc Challenge. She was also awarded 2017 Sommelier of the Year at the WA Good Food Guide awards and Sommelier of the Year at the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant awards.
Matt Dunne is one of Sydney’s finest sommeliers and communicators who is also the Group Wine Ambassador for the Joval Wine Group. He has created and managed wine lists for over 30 venues including ARIA Sydney, Opera Bar and Chiswick. In 2011 Matt won the Sydney Morning Herald’s 2011 ‘Good Food Guide Louis Roederer Sommelier of the Year’ and his team won the 2015 Wine List of the Year in the Good Food Guide for ARIA Sydney plus he was a Len Evans Scholar. Matt has tremendous knowledge of wine, beer and spirits, and has written his own wine blog for over 8 years.
Tijana is on a mission to take the intimidation out of wine. With a background in sales and marketing, she furthered her studies to complete WSET Levels 2 and 3. An advocate for chardonnay, she plans to use her position as Deputy Chair for Wine Communicators SA Chapter to break the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) stigma. If sentenced to death, her last meal would be freshly baked bread and salted butter paired with a glass of the best wine in the world - chardonnay of course.
Marcell is the Beverage Director at Restaurant Botanic and, with his cross-functional background, re-defines the role of modern-day sommelier.
After obtaining a qualification in food engineering and winemaking operations, Marcell started his career as a food product developer before turning his hand to wine. He began working as a sommelier while undertaking a Master's degree in gastronomy. His curiosity for memorable wine experiences led to a PhD in food, wine and emotional pairing at the University of Adelaide in collaboration with Wine Australia and UC Davis.
As the Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at Penfolds Magill Estate, Marcell curated one of the country's most extensive champagne lists and created memorable experiences with a twist of science. Just recently, Marcell has joined a new project showcasing Australian botanicals and native ingredients. As a beverage director, he is responsible for product development, industry collaborations and creating a whole new dining experience.
Marcell has been a contributing author in several academic and industry journals and continues to evolve as a wine judge. And if that wasn’t enough, he recently co-founded a wine label (LUDO wines) to make brave wines with transparency, curiosity and precision.Photo credit: Meaghan Coles and VINE & BUBBLE Magazine
Cassandra is a Margaret River based wine, travel, and food writer and presenter, regularly contributing to publications including Halliday magazine, Gourmet Traveller WINE, Delicious, and Escape. She’s a reviewer for Gourmet Traveller WINE and the WA Good Food Guide, and has started judging at a number of WA wine shows. You’ll find her regularly presenting on Channel Nine’s Our State on a Plate, and hosting immersive wine experiences throughout Western Australia’s wine regions with Earn Your Vino. When not busy with all of the above, she enjoys sitting at home sniffing and sipping her way around Italy. Find out more about Cassandra and Earn Your Vino at earnyourvino.com
James Atkinson is creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and a previous editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® and 2017 winner of the Australian International Beer Awards media prize, James regularly contributes to publications including Halliday, Good Food, QantasLink Spirit and more. Check out Australia’s leading drinks podcast Drinks Adventures.
Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Andrea came to Australia in 2013 after graduating with an environmental science degree. While working as a waiter in between jobs, Andrea found he enjoyed hospitality much more than his previous career during a stint working at MoVida Sydney. After a short apprenticeship at 121 BC, Sydney’s ground-breaking gem for Lo-Fi Italian wines, and a few months with the Lotus Group, Andrea moved to Melbourne and reunited with Movida. He’s been curating the highly regarded Wine List at Movida Melbourne, including one of the country's finest Spanish selections, for the past 3 years while studying for the WSET diploma.
Brendan is a Melbourne-based writer, filmmaker, playwright and composer. Since 2013, he has been published in national and regional Australian titles such as Gourmet Traveller Wine, Grapegrower and Winemaker, Gippslandia, Gippsland Lifestyle, Yarra Valley and Ranges and Gippsland Country Life magazines. He has completed the WSET Level 3 course (gaining a Distinction) and has a passion for small producers of wine, beer and spirits. He is also the co-editor of 'I'm Not a Film Star: David Bowie as Actor' for Bloomsbury Academic.
Andrew is a former WCA 'Young Gun' of Wine Journalism and Lifestyle FOOD channel wine expert who was voted in the Top 30 most trusted wine critics in the world. Now clocking up over 20 years in the wine industry, Andrew has an unusual dual background with a Masters in Wine Technology & Viticulture and a Bachelor of Environmental Management, with wine and climate change a speciality. Andrew spends his days as a marketer, presenter and writing about wine, beer, spirits and cider for his own website Australian Wine Review and the likes of Gourmet Traveller Wine, National Liquor News, The Seniors Magazine & Latte Life. The co-founder of wine events business The Tasting Glass, in his spare time, Andrew runs foolishly long ultramarathons.
Regan is a regular wine columnist for the News Regional Media "Weekend" Magazine and digital "Life" sections. A graduate of the Australian Wine Research Institute's Advanced Wine Assessment Course #47 he was awarded with Distinction WSET Level 3 in Wine & Spirits, has been an Associate Judge for the New South Wine Awards plus a couple of little stints helping out in the Hunter Valley and Tasmania during vintages with small but quality winemakers.
Priscilla’s story started at the Faculty of Tourism, at the Universidade do Estado do Rio Grande do Norte (UERN) in her home city of Natal, during a subject on wine and gastronomy. It was there that a dream was born! She did something completely unknown and unusual for a young, 22-year old girl from the north-east of Brazil, who had never even been to São Paulo, and was living in a part of Brazil where drinking wine was not common. Everyone told her -“You are crazy, why do you want to study wine? You should study law or medicine”. But she wouldn’t listen to anyone. She followed her heart, and without knowing anybody, without a job, and even without really having a proper plan, she took a huge risk, resigned from her stable job, and moved to another country. Where, you ask? Where else, but Mendoza, Argentina? Since then Priscilla has visited more than 30 wine regions around the world. In a single trip to Europe she visited nine countries, interviewing winemakers and joining private tastings exclusively for wine professionals plus participated in the 2018 vintage in Mosel Germany. She arrived in Australia in 2016 with no English, but nothing could stop her and she kept working and studying about her true passion! Priscilla is currently studying the WSET 4 - Diploma and working with different projects in Brazil and Australia
Simon is a multi-award winning Sommelier with nearly 20 years of experience in the Sydney fine-dining scene having designed wine lists for many of the great restaurants of the time. At Cafe Sydney, Simon was awarded ‘Best Listing of Australian Wines in Australia’ by Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine 2017 and 2019. While at Marque Restaurant, Simon was awarded 2015 Gault & Millau ‘Sommelier of the Year’. At Catalina, he was awarded 2008 Australian Gourmet Traveller Sommelier of the Year. At Quay, SMH reviewer Matthew Evans wrote in a review in February 2002 “blame it on Grand Cru Burgundy, but Quay is back at its best”, Simon sold him said Burgundy from his program. He also has worked at Rockpool and Tetusya’s, and judged periodically at the Sydney Royal Wine Show, Hunter Valley Wine Show, Mudgee and Orange Wine Shows. Finally, if that was not already enough, Simon was a Len Evans’ Scholar in 2008, acing the DRCs on the final day.
After eight years cutting her teeth in Melbourne’s hospitality scene, Liinaa started her wine journey as a sommelier for the 5-star hotel group Constance Hotels & Resorts in 2013, working in both Mauritius and Seychelles. In 2015, she was the finalist in the Best Sommelier Competition for the Festival Bernard L'Oiseau where she was trained by world class sommeliers such as Serge Dubs and Andreas Larson. Liinaa then returned to Australia and Adelaide where she curated numerous wine lists, some of which won awards in the Australia’s prestigious Winelist of the Year competition.
In the media, Liinaa appeared in the TV show, Battle of the Wines, and contributes to Delicious magazine as a drinks expert and bar critic. She is also the Melbourne ambassador for Star Wine List, an international platform promoting venues with some of the best wine programs in the world. Liinaa is now also consulting for TFE Hotels on their Pentridge Hotel, including a 100 seat wine bar located in the historic Pentridge Prison, the first of its kind in Australia.