Winepilot has put together a team of some of Australia and New Zealand’s leading drinks writers, judges and sommeliers to take you on a journey through our world.
Angus is an award-winning wine writer with over 15 years of drinks writing and judging experience. He is the Drinks Editor for Wish Magazine in The Australian and a regular contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine. Angus also authored Australia’s only imported wine guide, Worldwine, is a Len Evans Scholar and founded Winepilot to help you drink better, everyday.
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.
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. Find out more about Tony here.
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.
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, developing a deep love of wine, restaurants, beaches and much warmer weather. She has judged at a number of national and local wine shows including The Royal Sydney Show, the NSW Wine Awards and the Alternative Varieties Show, has sat on tasting panels for industry magazines 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 is a wine consultant and educator and is the Head Sommelier of Merivale’s eastern suburbs venues, including Hotel Centennial, Fred’s, Ms G’s and Totti’s at The Royal. Her other loves include music – she had a radio show on Bondi FM and still DJs on occasion – and her family. Melissa lives with her family in Bondi.
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 is the Head Sommelier at Sydney’s Award-Winning Quay restaurant. She is a rising star in the ranks of sommeliers in Australia having been three times nominated for the Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year award. She has also been a Len Evans Scholar and has judged at numerous wine shows including Royal Sydney, Hunter Valley, New South Wales and Langhorne Creek Wine Shows. Shanteh has also recently contributed to Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.
Ray Jordan is one of Australia’s most experienced wine journalists. Ray has been writing about wine for more than 40 years. His first articles were published in the early issues of the national wine magazine Winestate in the late 70s when he worked in Sydney as a correspondent for The West Australian newspaper. Ray is currently Wine Editor for Seven West Media, writing wine columns for The West Australian Fresh Section and the Saturday Magazine, Play. In 2003 Ray released the first of his annual guides to West Australian wines. In 2016 Ray published Wine in the Blood: Australia’s family wine estates, with both Chinese and English versions. In 2017 Ray and Peter Forrestal released the definitive book on the beginnings of Margaret River as a wine region, The Way it Was: The History of the early years of the Margaret River Wine Region. Ray has been awarded the Jack Mann Medal for his contribution to the West Australian wine industry.
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.
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.
Morgan Dunn is a Melbourne based sommelier with over 10 years of experience. He currently writes 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.
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.
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 here.
Dave Brookes is a freelance wine journalist contributing to Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, Wine Companion and Selector magazines. His work has appeared in The Adelaide Review, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits and Cuisine magazines and Dave has also worked with Fairfax media, Emirates and Qantas.
Originally from North Canterbury, New Zealand, Dave lived in the Barossa for many years before relocating to the north coast of NSW.
With 26 years in the wine industry his experience spans retail, wholesale, winery, secondary market and brand management. David was awarded Dux of the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial in 2011 and is a sought-after judge on the Australian and international wine show circuit judging at around 10 major and regional wine shows a year. He is currently panel chair at several influential capital city wine shows in Australia, chairman of the NSW Wine Awards and Margaret River Wine show and Chief Editor of the Wine 100 Challenge in Shanghai and Beijing Fanshang Wine & Food Competition.
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. You can read Regan’s wine blog here.
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. Get more of Andrew’s reviews here.
Andrea Pritzker MW
Andrea Pritzker MW is the founder of Wine inTuition, a wine education business based in Sydney. She also works as an independent wine consultant, wine judge, writer and public speaker. Andrea’s diverse career in the wine trade has spanned over twenty years with roles in wholesale, retail, fine wine auction, digital marketing and buying. You can find out more about Andrea here.
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.
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.
Marcell is the Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at Magill Estate Restaurant 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. At Magill Estate, Marcell curates one of the country’s most extensive champagne lists and creates memorable experiences with a twist of science. He is the recipient of the ASVO AWAC Scholarship, Wine Communicators Australia Wine Industry Mentor Program, Vinitaly International Academy Italian Wine Ambassador Scholarship, Sommeliers Australia Education Scholarship, Wine Australia Research Scholarship and a finalist for the Sommelier of the Year by Gault & Millau. Marcell is also in charge of coordinating and designing the food, wine and hospitality courses of Le Cordon Bleu Australia. He 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 to make brave wines with transparency, curiosity and precision.
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.
Tom is a keen beer drinker who developed a passion for good drinks working in the craft beer industry. Tom is constantly in awe of the quality and innovative brews being pumped out of Australian breweries and is passionate about educating people in all things beer.