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 expert sommeliers, wine judges and wine and food writers and commentators from around the World. Led by Chairman of Judges, Peter Forrestal, International Chair, Brian Julyan MS, 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, Chairman-pic

Peter Forrestal, Chairman

Wine writer, author, founding editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE, Peter has been Chairman of Judges of Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards since 2008 and Co-Chairman China’s Wine List of the Year Awards since 2013. He has been a judge in these awards since they began in 1994 and this is his fifteenth year as Chairman of Judges. His most recent book (with Ray Jordan) is The Way it Was: a history of the early days of the Margaret River wine industry. He has just been appointed editor of the Western Ancestor, the journal of Family History WA.

Deputy Chairs

Toni Paterson MW-pic

Toni Paterson MW

Toni Paterson MW is a highly experienced wine professional with nearly 30 years of experience in the industry. With a background in science and winemaking, Paterson has been writing and communicating about wine for the past twenty 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 numerous local and international wine shows and has been involved with the Wine List of the Year Awards for more than a decade.

Jeni Port-pic

Jeni Port

Jeni Port is a freelance wine writer based in Melbourne. She was the longest serving wine writer at The Age newspaper, and now writes for Australia’s major wine magazines and is a member of the Tasting Panel for the annual best-selling Halliday Wine Companion book and website. She judges wine in Australia as well as internationally and is the author of three wine books. In 2014, she was named Wine Communicator of the Year and awarded a legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. In 2018, she was named Legend of the Vine by the WCA.

International Chair

Brian Julyan MS, International Chair-pic

Brian Julyan MS, International Chair

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.

Judging Panel

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

Amelia Ball-pic

Amelia Ball

Amelia is a long-time journalist and editor, who has specialised in wine and drinks media for more than 16 years. The former Editorial Director of Halliday Wine Companion was part of the launch team for that brand's magazine in 2011, and now writes for a range of publications covering wine, food and travel. She also produces content for various businesses across the drinks industry.

Mike Bennie-pic

Mike Bennie

A freelance wine writer and journalist – Mike’s work appears in 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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Kim Bickley

A CMS Certified Sommelier, WSET educator and wine show judge, Kim Bickley has been referred to as one of the top Sommeliers in the country. Having more than 20 years experience in the industry, curating award winning wine lists for restaurants such as Glass Brasserie (Hilton Sydney) , Black by Ezard (The Star Casino Sydney) and Salt Grill. Kim has worked as brand ambassador for Bollinger, Henschke and Petaluma, was a Len Evans and Sommeliers Australia Tutorial Scholar in 2009, attended AWRI’s Advanced Wine Assessment Course in 2015 and is now a member of the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel.  Having relocated to the Hunter Valley in 2016 to join her partner Andrew Thomas (Thomas Wines), she is now working as a consultant sommelier is excitingly on the cusp of opening a cutting-edge wine accessories store in Pokolbin.

Nicole Bilson-pic

Nicole Bilson

Nicole is a freelance writer and Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) educator living in Melbourne on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung land. She is a regular contributor to Winepilot, and has been published in Gourmet Traveller Wine,  James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine and Meininger’s Wine Business International Magazine (Europe) in collaboration with her mentor, Jeni Port. Nicole’s wine judging career began after being awarded the Victorian Viticultural Society scholarship in 2017. She has since been involved with a number of national shows and is a passionate believer in the power wine has to connect people.

Peter Bourne-pic

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.

Wendy Cameron MW-pic

Wendy Cameron MW

Wendy Cameron is an experienced winemaker who commenced her career working in her parent’s family winery in North East Victoria before joining Brown Family Wine Group. She spent the next 17 years there, initially as a hands-on winemaker and then as Head of Winemaking. In this role, she had responsibility for the vineyards and wineries in Victoria and Tasmania and the development and production of their diverse range of grape varieties and wine styles. Wendy has been a committee member of the Australian Society Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) and was awarded the inaugural ASVO Winemaker of the Year Award in 2012. She was made a Fellow of the ASVO in 2020. Wendy has judged at many Australian Wine shows as well as giving technical presentations at wine industry conferences both in Australia and the US. Wendy became a Master of Wine in 2015. After studying for her PhD at the University of Melbourne, she has recently submitted her thesis “Effect of temperature on grapevine phenology”.

Jane Faulkner-pic

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.

Gill Gordon-Smith-pic

Gill Gordon-Smith

Gill Gordon-Smith is 2017 WCA Educator of the Year and Wine Communicator of the Year. She runs a  retail wine shop and tasting bar in the McLaren Vale region. Gill is a bVIA Italian wine ambassador, a McLaren Vale ambassador and a regular contributor to Fleurieu Living. She is small batch winemaker for Fall from Grace and spends much time eating and drinking her way through the world.

Andrew Graham-pic

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.

Dr Angus Hughson-pic

Dr Angus Hughson

Dr Angus Hughson is an award winning writer with over 15 years experience both as a wine writer, show judge and as the Founder and Publisher at Winepilot.com. Angus has been the Drinks Editor for WISH Magazine, published with The Australian, for over a decade, and has also contributed to Gourmet Traveller Wine, Spirit of Australia Qantas Magazine, Mindfood, Courier Mail, Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and winegenius.com.  He has judged at the Sydney Royal Wine Show, Macedon Wine Show, Wine Show of Western Australia and is a Len Evans Scholar”.

Ray Jordan-pic

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.

International Jury


Sarah Andrew-pic

Sarah Andrew

Sarah Andrew DipWSET (Honours) / Certified Sommelier, has operated Selador Wines consultancy for 13 years and last year joined House of Fine Wine as National On-Premise Business Manager and WSET educator.  She is National Co-President of Sommeliers Australia, on the WSET Advisory Board, representing Oceania and an advisory board member for Australian Women in Wine.  She is a regular member on the tasting panel for Winestate and an active wine show judge.  In her first year of the MW program, Sarah is loving the travel opportunities that come with this study and the international networking opportunities.


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 MW-pic

Bob Campbell MW

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

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.


Michael Engelmann MS-pic

Michael Engelmann MS

Wine Director and Master Sommelier Michaël Engelmann joined The Modern in 2014, having previously held the role of Wine Director at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney. Michaël's accolades include “Best Sommelier in America” from the American Sommelier Association (2009), and being voted one of five “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine (2009). In the same year, he passed the Advanced Sommelier Exam of the Court of Master Sommeliers, earning the Rudd Scholarship for his high score. In 2011, Michaël passed the Master Sommelier exam and was awarded the Krug Cup for passing all three parts on his first attempt; he is one of only 14 individuals in the history of the Court to have done so.


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.


Andrew Jefford-pic

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.


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.


Winsor Dobbin-pic

Winsor 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.

Judging the Awards

The Judging Process

Our total International judging panel comprises an accomplished group of over 30 wine industry professionals, wine communicators and sommeliers. These include several Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine from Australia and around the world.

They are all experienced professionals who approach their work with a sense of responsibility and professionalism thus ensuring that impartiality is a key consideration in the judging process.

Their mission is to reward wine lists that elevate the dining experience.

During the first stage of the judging process, lists are allocated to the Australian Judging Panel: wine writers, sommeliers, wine judges and other experienced professionals who work in the hospitality industry.

Each list is rated on its content, balance, suitability to the venue, presentation and pricing.

Judges are not allocated lists from their home states.

Each list is judged by a pair of judges; both assess independently and confidentially, without being aware of the identity of the other judge.

Judges raw scores are added to determine ratings; however, these can be moderated by the Chairman of Judges working with the Deputy Chairs if the gap between the two independent judges’ judgements is significant.


Each entering establishment is given a rating:
  •  Three glasses (outstanding)
  • Two glasses (excellent)
  • One glass (recommended)

There are a small number of establishments which do not meet our basic standards and these are not given a glass rating.

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, sommeliers, wine judges, and food and wine writers; plus all members of the Judging Panel.

They are given information about the restaurant, the wine list, and menu for each of the top six Australian lists and are asked to rank these. The winner becomes Australia's Wine List of the Year.

The national winners of each of the other Major 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.

Once a restaurant has achieved the top accolade of winning Australia's Wine List of the Year, they are unable to win the top award again however are inducted into the Hall of Fame the following year where they are able to remain – provided their list retains its high standard and continues to enter the Awards.

Winners of this major award are however eligible to enter other categories and win additional key awards.

Restaurants that win any Major Award category three times are also precluded from winning that category Award a fourth time however they then achieve Hall of Fame status as well – provided they maintain their standard and enter the Awards.

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 and 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 and 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




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