News & Events

2020 Judging Panel

01 Jan 2020

With the launch of the 2020 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards about to take place, we take this opportunity to update everyone on the outstanding Judging Panel that is about to be immersed in the task of finding Australia’s Best Wine List for 2020 thereby guiding the fortunes of all those submitting their lists.


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The Awards see a number of significant changes to the Judging panel of AWLOTY with the loss, to our Judging ranks, of two of our most loyal, experienced and esteemed Judges who have passed away – Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW and MBA, and Kim West OAM whilst we welcome to the Judging ranks three new judges Winsor Dobbin, Andrew Graham and Josh Martin.

Peter Forrestal, Chairman of Australia’s and China’s Wine List of the Year Awards, paid tribute to both Gerard and Kim recalling not only the very special individuals they both were but the extraordinary contributions both individuals made to our Awards, to our industry and to the world at large for which we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Judging Panel: Sad losses

Obituary – Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, MSc (OIV) – 1957–2019.

“Gerard Basset served on the judging panel of Australia’s Wine List of the Year for a decade from 2009 and China’s Wine List of the Year since its inception in 2013. He was a rigorous and thoughtful judge with a clear vision of what made a great wine list. We bonded over the love for our dogs, his Malmsey, and my Fling. He wrote of the pride he took in the achievements of Romané while his closeness to Nina was palpable.”

“I have two enduring memories of the 2005 Barossa Shiraz Alliance: a magical evening in the Eden Valley, bush lit up by a magnificent bonfire, accompanied by superb food and wine; and the conference lit up by a speech from Gerard Basset. In summing up Gerard, it is entirely appropriate to quote Hamlet   ‘He was a man. Take him for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again.’” Peter Forrestal, Chairman of Judges, Australia’s, and China’s Wine List of the Year Awards.

Obituary – Kim West OAM – 1948–2018.

Wearing his – broadcaster, wine commentator hat – Kim served as a judge of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards for a decade from 2008 until his passing. When he was a young policeman, Detective Inspector Kim West realised that he would need a hobby to survive the harsh world of policing.

His fledging love of wine became a full-blown affair which gave him voice in his nearly 30year hosting of the two-hour Sunday morning Wine Show on Melbourne’s community radio station 96.5 Inner FM. “

“His knowledge of, and love for wine, and the industry’s personalities meant that his effusive style painted a glowing picture of the current scene – even if, as Iain Riggs quipped, those being interviewed ‘might struggle to get a word in edgeways.’ His knowledge of food and wine also saw him involved as a valued contributor to the Age Good Food Guide, as a wine commentator on Melbourne’s 3AW for several years and as a judge of Australia’sWine List of the Year. When we needed verification of the bona fides of a list in Melbourne, Westy would be pressed into service using the skills he had cultivated as a detective inspector.

His good friend, Peter Forrestal, found it difficult not to find echoes of Westy’s gargantuan presence in Shakespeare’s finest plays. “There he was ‘bestriding the narrow world like a colossus’ (Julius Caesar). Like the old man himself, he rejected Polonius’s advice ‘As brevity is the sole of wit, I will be brief.’ If necessary, he would have echoed Sir Toby Belch’s ‘Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?’ And like his alter ego, Falstaff, towards the end of a full life, he could happily have cried out ‘I have seen the chimes at midnight.’”  Peter Forrestal, Chairman of Judges, Australia’s and China’s Wine List of the Year Awards.

Judging Panel: New Judges

As talented additions to the AWLOTY Awards Panel, we welcome our three new respected judges – Winsor Dobbin, Andrew Graham and Josh Martin.

On behalf of the Awards and the Industry generally, we thank you for your participation in the Awards and for the valued contribution we know you will make – we look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead.

Windsor Dobbin

Winsor Dobbin is a passionate wine writer who has spent over 25 years sharing his stories from across the globe.   A former foreign correspondent who has lived in in London, Paris, Johannesburg and New York, he is now based south of Hobart in Tasmania’s Huon Valley, where he contributes stories to Winestate, Ciao and The Upsider among others.   His stories on food, wine and travel can also be found in numerous national and international magazines, as well as several websites. His blog has attracted over 1.4 million visitors.

Andrew Graham 

Andrew is a former WCA ‘Young Gun’ of Wine Journalism and Lifestyle FOOD channel wine expert who writes for a host of publications and judges around the world. Now clocking up over 20 years in the wine industry, Andrew has a Masters in Wine Technology & Viticulture and is co-founder of wine events business The Tasting Glass. In his spare time, he runs foolishly long ultramarathons.

Josh Martin

Josh is a journalist who writes for Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine and other digital publications, including the Broadsheet. He is also a judge across wine shows and national food and wine competitions. A passionate wine lover, he has particular interest in organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Josh was awarded the New Wine Writer of The Year in 2016 from the Wine Communicators of Australia


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