Judges

China’s Wine List of the Year Awards bring together each year a selection of some of the most respected independent experts in the world of wine, wine service, judging and commentary from around the world and China. These international authorities ensure that China’s winning lists, which are a proud representation of China’s food and wine industry, receive the worldwide recognition they deserve.

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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

Ably supporting the Awards Co-Chairmen are two of the most experienced Wine List judges in the world – the Awards Deputy Chairs – Jeni Port and Toni Paterson MW.

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.

Jeni Port-pic

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.

International Chairman

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.

Judging Panel

The Judging Panel includes the Chairman and Deputy Chairs above and is made up of qualified and respected experts – sommeliers and wine commentators from around the world. The panel has the responsibility to judge every single list independently and determine the finalists. Should a conflict ever arise with any outlets being judged then the effected Judge abstains from judging that round.

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.

Kim Bickley-pic

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.

Ken Gargett-pic

Ken Gargett

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

Supreme Panel

To maintain the impartiality of the judging process, the top lists are then rated by the International Supreme Panel. The Supreme Panel includes the Judging Panel as well as a distinguished group of Chinese and International experts.

This Supreme Panel is comprised of some of the world’s most respected experts in Wine, Wine Service, and Wine Commentary. They include Master Sommeliers, including the Founder of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide, a previous Best Sommelier in Asia-Oceania, advisors to the China Sommelier Association Preparation Committee plus Masters of Wine and Wine Commentators from some of the most respected publications both in China and around the World.

It is these International and Chinese voices of wine authority that will oversee the final selection of China’s finest lists and their recognition on the world stage.

China

Jim Boyce-pic

Jim Boyce

Jim Boyce founded and runs the wine blog Grape Wall of China. In his capacity as a wine consultant he organizes tastings such as Ningxia vs Bordeaux Challenge in Beijing and the annual Grape Wall Challenge. Jim is a past contributor to Wine Enthusiast, Wine Business International and Food & Wine China.

Australia

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

Germany

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.

France

Dr Steve Charters MW, PHD-pic

Dr Steve Charters MW, PHD

Master of Wine, qualified lawyer, currently Director of Research, School of Wine and Spirits Business, ESC Dijon, Burgundy, previously Professor of Champagne management at Reims Management School and lecturer in Wine Studies and Marketing at Edith Cowan University in Perth. PhD 2004 - thesis entitled ‘Perceptions of Wine Quality’.

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.

China

Yudan Fan-pic

Yudan Fan

WSET Diploma Holder, PhD in Wine Science from the University of Adelaide, Australia; Bachelor degree of Viticulture & Enology from China Agricultural University. Currently independent wine educator and judge, previously Lecturer at ASC Fine Wines, Lecturer of Food Science & Technology at Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College.

USA

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.

Australia

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.

Australia

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.

Australia

Ben Hasko MS-pic

Ben Hasko MS

Ben is the director of Luxury Beverage Group, and the two underlying companies Bootleggers Wine & Spirits and Cru Wines. Ben's main responsibility is to develop and manage the portfolio of around 60 producers from 9 countries. The focus is always either benchmark or up-and-coming producers from established and emerging region. Ben's other responsibilities include wine education and training, along with the continued development of both brands. Ben completed the Master Sommelier examination in London in October 2016, becoming the 236th Master Sommelier. He received the inaugural Dom Ruinart Cup for completing the examination on his first attempt. Ben is passionate about wine education in Australia, working with the industry and supporting further development. His interests include consulting on wine list development and management, and developing beverage programs.

Taiwan

John Hung-pic

John Hung

Professional sommelier and Graduate of International Tourism Academy of Vienna. Started Taiwan’s restaurant, “Sowieso” while teaching at Shih-Hsin renowned University. Commissioner and the Chancellor of the Chaine des Rotisseurs”.

Australia

Franck Moreau MS-pic

Franck Moreau MS

A Master Sommelier, named one of the Top 12 Sommeliers in the world - 2010, awarded Sommelier of the Year I - 2010 SMH Good Food Guide - 2011, 2012 Gourmet Traveller. Awarded Best Sommelier in Australia in 2011 and in 2012 awarded “Best Sommelier in Asia-Oceania “ (ASI).

Judging the Awards

The Judging Process

There are two panels of Judges – the Judging Panel and the International Supreme Panel and both these panels are made up of a specially selected group of experts from China and around the world.

Impartiality is a key consideration in the judging process. To ensure this, no Judge on the Judging Panel can judge Lists from where they live, and nor can they judge the same list two years in a row. The Judging Panel has the responsibility to judge every single list and determine the finalists. Should a conflict ever arise with any outlets being judged then the effected Judge abstains from judging that round.

The Judging Panel selects the finalists from each Region and Award Category, which are then submitted for final selection by the combined Judging Panel and International Supreme Panel.

Each establishment across China will be given a rating. The best will receive either one glass (Recommended), two glasses (Outstanding) or three glasses (Excellent).

Regional winners will be those establishments scoring highest points in each region, regardless of the Category in which they enter.

Each of the Categories will have a national winner. This will be awarded to the establishment scoring the highest points. There will be a final round of judging for the highest scoring wine lists, to decide the two China’s Wine Lists of the Year, where the Judging Panel will be joined by a group of Chinese and International judges to add an extra layer of impartiality to the final judging.

Establishments can only win China’s Wine List of the Year Award once, but they are still eligible to win their Regional and Category Awards three times. Once they achieve these outstanding milestones they will automatically be recognised and listed every year in the China’s Wine List of the Year Awards Hall of Fame provided they enter the Awards each year and maintain their high standard.

To retain Glass Ratings all restaurants must enter each year.

Each eligible establishment is given a rating as follows:

  •  Three glasses (outstanding)
  • Two glasses (excellent)
  • One glass (recommended)

What are the Judges looking for?

Content

  • 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

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

Suitability

  • To cuisine, style and image of establishment

Presentation

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

Pricing

  • Appropriateness, value

Enter the 2024 Awards

Entries for the 2024 China's Wine List of the Year Awards will open in May, 2024. The winners will be announced at an Awards Presentation Ceremony and Celebration in October, 2024.  
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