The hard work of judging Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards is the responsibility of an extraordinary selection of Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine together with additional expert sommeliers, wine judges and wine and food writers from Australia and around the World. Led by Chairman of Judges, Peter Forrestal, and Deputy Chairs, Toni Paterson MW and Jeni Port, this selection is further divided into two groups – the Judging Panel and the International Jury.


Chairman of Judges

Peter Forrestal-pic

Peter Forrestal

Wine writer, author, founding editor and contributor to Gourmet Traveller WINE, Chairman of Judges – Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards and Co-Chairman China’s Wine List of the Year Awards. Peter is currently working on a history of the early days of the Margaret River wine industry.

Deputy Chairs

Toni Paterson MW-pic

Toni Paterson MW

Toni Paterson is a highly experienced wine professional with over 20 years’ experience.  With a background in science and winemaking, Paterson has been writing and communicating about wine for the past fifteen years.  She was admitted into the Institute of the Masters of Wine in 2003 and was awarded the prestigious Madame Lily Bollinger Medal for tasting excellence.  Paterson has judged at many local and international wine shows and has been involved with the Wine List of the Year Awards for the past seven years.

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Jeni Port

Jeni Port is a freelance wine writer based in Melbourne. She was the longest-running wine writer at The Age newspaper and now writes for Australia's major wine magazines, including Gourmet Traveller WINE, James Halliday and Wine Selectors. She judges wine in Australia as well as internationally, and is the author of three wine books. In 2014, Wine Communicators of Australia named her Wine Communicator of the Year and she was also awarded a legend of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

Judging Panel

All members of the judging panel are also part of the International Jury.

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Mike Bennie

A freelance wine writer and journalist – Mike’s work appears in Gourmet Traveller Wine, Men's Style, Time Out magazines, WineFront.com.au and other publications. He is also a committed wine judge and event presenter who is known for his quixotic and vocal take on wine.

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Peter Bourne

Universally known as “The Wine Man” Peter Bourne has been involved in the Australian wine industry for 40 years - initially as a fine wine merchant and more recently as a full-time industry consultant. Peter’s principal focus is on wine education - presenting a wide variety of wine appreciation courses and specialised wine tastings. Peter hosts numerous trade and consumer events along with high-end corporate wine evenings. Peter’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading wine educators was cemented by winning the 2010 Wine Communicator of the Year. Peter is a founding member of the Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine tasting panel and is a regular contributor to the QANTAS in-flight magazine, The Qantas Magazine and Horizon Magazine. He is also a member of the judging panel of Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine Winemaker of the Year Awards. Additionally Peter sits on the selection panel for the biennial Vin de Champagne Awards.

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Wendy Cameron MW

Wendy is an experienced winemaker having worked with Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard, Australia for the past 17 years, 11 as Head of Winemaking.Wendy has a Master of Wine, was the inaugural ASVO Winemaker of the Year in 2012 and a finalist in the 2015 Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year Awards. Wendy has judged extensively at Australian Wine shows and been an invited speaker at both the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference and the American Society Enology and Viticulture conference.

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Maryann Egan

Maryann has been a wine writer for various wine and food publications over the years. Currently Maryann is the winemaker at Wantirna Estate -  the small family winery that was established in the Yarra Valley by her father in 1963.Judging the WLOTYA is a much anticipated annual pleasure, having been part of the panel for over 15 years.

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Jane Faulkner

Jane Faulkner is a journalist by training and a wine writer by vocation. She writes for a number of publications and recently joined the best-selling Halliday Wine Companion as a key reviewer. For many years she’s been judging the Wine List of the Year Awards and writing about the winners for Gourmet Traveller WINE. In between, she is a sort-after MC, teaches wine courses, an experienced editor, wine judge and currently chairs four Australian shows. Born in Malaysia, lives in Melbourne, Jane never tires of travelling throughout the wine world for months on end. Naturally she drinks with gusto.

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Ken Gargett

Wine writer for Courier Mail & Gourmet Traveller Wine, show judge, Len Evans scholar.

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Ray Jordan

Ray Jordan is one of Australia’s most experienced wine journalists. Ray has been writing about wine for nearly 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 Saturday Magazine, together with the Sunday Times, while also contributing to other publications. In 2003 Ray released the first of his annual guides to West Australian wines and has also co-authored a book on Margaret River with Peter Forrestal. In 2016 Ray published Wine in the Blood; Australia’s family wine estates, in both Chinese and English versions. He co-hosts a regular wine show on Curtin FM radio. Ray has judged at the Swan Valley Wine Show, the Barossa Wine Show, the Perth Hills Wines Show, the Geographe Wine Show and the Sheraton Wine Awards. He has been awarded the Jack Mann Medal for his contribution to the West Australian wine industry. He has been a long-time judge of the Wine List of the Year Awards.

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Erin Larkin

Independent wine writer, judge, hostess, pen for hire and wine nerd. Always pursuing some kind of award, scholarship, degree or project. Forever tasting and working on the palate.

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Sophie Otton

The acclaimed Sommelier of 2009 AWLOYA winner, Rockpool Bar & Grill, wine writer, member of Gourmet Traveller Wine's tasting panel, show judge, winner of Negociants Working with Wine.

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Graeme Phillips

Former chef/restaurateur, wine writer for The Mercury, restaurant, food and wine writer for the Sunday Tasmanian, author of A Guide to Tasting Tasmania.

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Louise Radman

Louise Radman is a multi award winning wine and marketing consultant at Radpublic. She is a Roseworthy graduate and Len Evans scholar, ASVO wine show judge and sits on the national board of Sommeliers Australia. A former wine journalist, she spent many years as head of purchasing for Hyatt, was chair of the South Australian wine press club, a wine communicators Australia national executive member and twice awarded South Australian sommelier of the year. Louise is a founding director of Domaine Simha wines in Tasmania and master distiller for Süd Polaire.

International Jury

United Kingdom

Gerard Basset MW MS MBA OBE-pic

Gerard Basset MW MS MBA OBE

Born in France, Gerard moved to England in the mid-1980s where he embarked on a successful career as a Sommelier.  His titles include: Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, Wine MBA, Best International Sommelier for French Wines 1992, Best Sommelier of Europe 1996, Best Sommelier in The World 2010 and Decanter Man of the Year 2013. In 1994 Gerard co-founded the Hotel du Vin Group, sold in 2004 and in 2007, with his wife Nina, Gerard opened Hotel TerraVina.  In 1997 Gerard was given The Medal of Saint–Etienne, where he was born and 2011, Gerard received an OBE given by The Princess Royal Princess Anne.


Nick Bulleid MW-pic

Nick Bulleid MW

Nick is an independent wine industry consultant, providing advice on winemaking, blending, quality assessment and marketing. He writes for GT WINE magazine and has edited and contributed to the textbook Australian Winemaking published in 2013 by Trivinum in Adelaide. Nick became the third Master of Wine in Australia, passing the examination at first attempt in 1992. He has judged at most major wine shows in Australia and New Zealand, the International Wine Challenge, London and other international shows. His knowledge of Australian and international wines brings wide experience in judging the Wine List of the Year Awards.


Andrew Caillard MW-pic

Andrew Caillard MW

Master of Wine, Wine Writer, Member of Gourmet Traveller Wine's Tasting Panel, Wine Auctioneer, Author of the Rewards of Patience, Bollinger Medalist

New Zealand

Bob Campbell MV-pic

Bob Campbell MV

Bob Campbell was the second New Zealander and is one of only 356 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. He is wine editor of Taste magazine, Kia Ora magazine as well as being New Zealand editor for Gourmet Traveller Wine. Bob contributes to wine publications in seven countries. Over 22,000 people have attended Bob’s wine diploma courses in New Zealand, Asia and Europe. He has been a senior judge in wine competitions in ten countries


Felicity Carter-pic

Felicity Carter

Felicity Carter is editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, the world’s only global, English language wine business magazine. Published in Germany, it has subscribers in more than 40 countries. A wine judge, Felicity has judged in Portugal, Germany, Bordeaux, Brussels and Georgia, and in 2015 formed part of the ‘empowerment of women in wine’ panel for Wines of Argentina. Felicity is a regular speaker at international wine events from ProWein to WineVision. Before taking her current position, she wrote for major Australian publications, including The Sydney Morning Herald.


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Grant Dickson

Owner and sommelier of the Barossa Valley’s fermentAsian restaurant. Grant was awarded the prestigious Judy Hirst award after fermentAsian took out the top prize for Australia’s Wine List of the Year in 2016.

New Zealand

Cameron Douglas MS-pic

Cameron Douglas MS

New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas MS is a well-known and experienced writer, educator, and reviewer of all things beverage.He consults to the hospitality industry and interested public in New Zealand and Internationally, and counts a number of notable restaurants, hotels, and related establishments as his clients. In New York he created and continues to consult on the wine list for Michelin-starred restaurant The Musket Room. Cameron also serves on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. Cameron has been a wine judge for twenty years (so far) and has been involved in wine competition in his native New Zealand as well as Australia, the USA, the UK and China. Douglas was awarded the Grand Siècle Trophy for achieving the highest marks upon passing his MS exams in London in 2007. He is the Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association.


Evan Goldstein MS-pic

Evan Goldstein MS

Evan Goldstein, MS, is one of the nation’s most prolific food and wine industry veterans. His food and wine career started at age 19 in the kitchens of the Restaurant Le Saintongeais and the Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, and Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, California. In 1984 he joined his mother, Chef and Author Joyce Goldstein in opening the celebrated San Francisco restaurant Square One where as sommelier his wine lists received a myriad of awards. In 1987, he became the eighth American and youngest ever at the time to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier examination. Since 1990, Evan has created education programs, wine training and service hospitality schools with Seagram Chateau & Estates Wines Company, Diageo, Allied Domecq, and most recently, as the Vice President of Global Wine & Brand Education at Beam Wine Estates. In addition, Evan continues to train and examine candidates for the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Founding Board member.


Ned Goodwin MW-pic

Ned Goodwin MW

Ned Goodwin MW splits his residence between Sydney and Tokyo, while also traveling throughout the rest of Asia as educator, public speaker, corporate event manager and chiefly, as Champagne ambassador and the face of a major Asian airline. Ned is also a member of the tasting teams for the Halliday Guide and France's Bettane et Desseuve, while serving as judge for the Gourmet Traveler Wine List of the Year Awards. He boasts experience as sommelier, buyer for one of Asia's largest restaurant consortiums and consultant to Wine Australia and the upcoming Saint Pellegrino Top 50 Awards, to be held in Melbourne. Ned also speaks Japanese fluently, conversational French and wishes he spoke Italian.


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Andrew Jefford

Andrew Jefford is an award-winning columnist for Decanter and World of Fine Wine, as well as a wine judge, wine author and wine-travel tutor.  He has written 12 books and guides. Following a 15-month stint in Australia, he has lived with his family in France’s Languedoc region for the last seven years.

United Kingdom

Brian Julyan MS-pic

Brian Julyan MS

Brian is a Master Sommelier and is Chief Executive Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide, Brian is also a wine consultant, show judge, judge for Sommelier du Monde, author of Sales and Service for the Wine Professional.


David Lawler-pic

David Lawler

Sommeliers Australia National President and former group sommelier for the Rockpool Group, David has recently opened a wine bar-bottleshop in Melbourne with former Rosetta sommelier, Tim Sacklin.


James Lawther MW-pic

James Lawther MW

James Lawther MW is an independent wine writer as well as contributing editor to Decanter, show judge and tour guide based in Bordeaux. He retailed wine at Steven Spurrier's Caves de la Madeleine in Paris in the 1980s and his early career included stints as a cellar hand in Burgundy, Roussillon and Margaret River.  He became a Master of Wine in 1993. He is the author of The Heart of Bordeaux and The Finest Wines of Bordeaux and has contributed to books including The Global Encyclopedia of Wine, Wines of the World and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book.


Tony Love-pic

Tony Love

News Ltd national wine writer, Tony’s news and feature stories appear across major mastheads in all states as well as news.com.au, taste.com.au.

United Kingdom

Christine Parkinson-pic

Christine Parkinson

Originally a Head Chef, then a Food & Beverage Manager, Christine created the original wine list for Hakkasan in 2001. She now heads the Group’s wine operations worldwide and judges at numerous wine and sake competitions globally. Christine has been called “one of the most creative wine buyers in the UK” by Jancis Robinson, and has won numerous awards both personally and for her wine lists.


Nick Ryan-pic

Nick Ryan

Wine writer for Gourmet Traveller Wine & Men’s Style; show judge, Len Evans scholar and has been a judge of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards for the past eight years.


Nick Stock-pic

Nick Stock

Wine writer for Gourmet Traveller WINE, wine judge, former sommelier, Len Evans scholar and is the author of Penguin Good Wine Guide to Australia.


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Kim West OAM

Wine writer, host of The Wine Program 96.5FM, wine commentator for 3AW and restaurant reviewer for the Age Good Food Guide.

Judging the Awards

The Judging Process

Our total judging panel comprises an accomplished group of over 30 wine industry professionals, wine communicators, sommeliers, winemakers, Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine. It is their mission to recognise and reward wine lists that elevate the dining experience, scoring on content, balance, suitability to venue, presentation, and pricing.Impartiality is a key consideration in the judging process, which is completed in two stages. Firstly, all lists are allocated to our local Judging Panel, made up of wine writers and other experts who work or have worked as sommeliers, chefs and winemakers.Two judges from this panel rate every wine list independently. They are not usually allocated lists from homes states, however, once every five years they are asked to rate local lists to maintain awareness of local dining. Judges raw scores are added to determine ratings, however, these can be moderated by the Chairman of Judges working with the Deputy Chairs.Each entering establishment is given a rating:
  •  Three glasses (outstanding)
  • Two glasses (excellent)
  • One glass (recommended)
The national winners of each of the awards are decided by a rigorous and fair system. Raw scores determine the top lists in each category. To ensure no restaurant is disadvantaged by tougher marking, these highest scoring lists are moderated by the Chairman of Judges working with the Deputy Chairs in determining finalists and winners for each award.The final stage of judging calls on the International Jury, a distinguished group of Australian and International wine personalities including Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, expert sommeliers, wine judges, and food and wine writers. They are given information about the restaurant, the wine list, and menu for each of the top six or seven rated Australian lists. Their task is to rate each of these submissions so the winner of Australia's Wine List of the Year can be chosen.Once a restaurant has achieved the top accolade of winning Australia's Wine List of the Year, they are inducted into the Hall of Fame the following year. Winners of the major award are eligible to enter another category and win additional key awards.Restaurants that win any award category three times also achieve Hall of Fame status.To retain Glass Ratings all restaurants must enter each year.

What are the Judges looking for?


  • Quality is key to choice of wines
  • Having an original & innovative choice, with some mature wines from good vintages, avoiding poor vintages
  • Carefully matching varieties and regions
  • Having an appropriate variety of wines by the glass
  • Adequate list of aperitifs, beers, spirits, liqueurs and waters/non-alcoholic


  • Balance of pricing relevant to your establishment
  • Domestic & imported wines, regions and wine styles


  • To cuisine, style and image of establishment


  • Includes vintages
  • Accurate and consistent presentation of information
  • Clear design for easy navigation


  • Appropriateness, value

Enter the 2018 Awards

Entries for the 2018 Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards will open on Thursday 1st February and close on Friday 9th March. The winners will be announced on Monday 30th July in Sydney.

Wine Australia

Wine Australia is pleased to support Australia's Wine List of the Year Awards, which recognises the commitment of Australian sommeliers to support local winemakers, showcase the premium quality and diversity of Australian wines and share the stories that make our wines unique.
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