ANDREA FROST, Writer

2016 Speakers

Andrea Frost is an award-winning writer, columnist and author whose work has been described as “more like an evening with a particularly erudite and witty dinner companion than a class at the local wine school”.

Andrea is a columnist for Timatkin.com and the World of Fine Wine and has contributed to Gourmet Traveller Wine, the James Halliday Wine Companion magazine, Wine Enthusiast, ABC’s delicious., The Melbourne and Adelaide Reviews and Slow Living Magazine, among others.

In 2013, Andrea was named the Wine Communicator of the Year and her first book, Through A Sparkling Glass, An A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine (Hardie Grant/Rizzoli Books) was awarded Best Wine Publication. In 2015, Andrea was shortlisted for in the prestigious Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards and a finalist is the Wine Communicators of Australia awards. Andrea’s piece ‘The Invention of Wine‘ won her the Best Editorial Wine Writing award at the 2012 Born Digital Wine Awards.

Through A Sparkling Glass has received many wonderful reviews and been described as a “gentle, thoughtful stroll through wine, life and most things in between.”

Andrea has appeared at several literary and wine events including the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival, the 2013 Bendigo Writers Festival and the 2013 inaugural Wine Day Out.

In 2012 and 2013, Andrea was named Wine Business Monthly’s ‘50 Stars’ of the year and in 2013 was selected as one of twelve scholars to attend the exclusive Len Evans Tutorial in the Hunter Valley.

Prior to freelance writing, Andrea held various roles in publishing and media including the editor of a wine magazine that won “World’s Best Wine Magazine” at the World Food Media Awards.

June 2nd, 2016

Megan Abbott-Walker
Sommelier, Masu

2016 Speakers

Like many students, Meg Abbott-Walker first dipped her toes into hospitality work in Wellington to fund her studies, but by 2005 she had turned it into a full-time career when she gained a love for the fast-paced and vibrant restaurant life.

Following a move to Melbourne, Meg’s eyes were opened to the beauty of sake and wine while working at restaurants including when Nobu, Ichi Ni Izakaya and Gigibaba, before becoming sake sommelier and assistant sommelier at Andrew McConnell’s Golden Fields.

In her current role, since 2013, as sommelier and beverage manager at “Masu by Nic Watt” at Skycity in Auckland, she has created one of the country’s largest sake lists and a wine list celebrating New Zealand wine.

Meg is studying for a diploma with the UK accredited Wine and Spirits Education Trust and complements this study with as much travel, eating and drinking as possible in order to delve deeper into the world of wine. She won the Lewisham presented Negociants Outstanding Wine Service Professional award in 2015 and now hopes her passion for natural, organic and experimental wines as well as reverence for the classic wines of the world will be helpful in steering the attention of New Zealand’s already well-versed wine consumers to exploration in the greater global wine (and sake!) industry.

June 2nd, 2016

Jo Burzynska MA
Wine Writer

2016 Speakers

Wine journalist, author and judge, Jo Burzynska is one of New Zealand’s leading wine communicators, writing one of the country’s most widely read wine columns in the New Zealand Herald’s Viva magazine, as well as contributing to specialist wine publications worldwide. She is also the author of Wine Class: All you need to know about wine in New Zealand (Random House).

An active international wine judge, Jo’s current regular roles include that of Chair of the Canterbury Wine Awards and as a New Zealand Panel Chair at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the UK. She is one of the founding members and Chair of Wine Writers of New Zealand and helped establish the world’s first wine and sound bar, The Auricle in Christchurch, NZ.

More information about Jo and her work can be found at: joburzynska.com

June 2nd, 2016

Jane Skilton MW
Wine Writer

2016 Speakers

Jane initially planned to study Electrical Engineering after leaving school. She soon realised that volts and amps would be unlikely to hold her interest and instead applied for a job in a local fine wine shop and a career in wine began. She completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma exam (gaining the Frescobaldi and Cognac scholarships) in 1988 and continuing her studies gained her Master of Wine qualification in 1993.

She married her New Zealand husband and moved to Auckland in 2000. Jane now divides her time between teaching WSET wine classes through her own school, the NZ School of Wines and Spirits and Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand, writing about wine and looking after her family. She is the Wine Editor for the Food Magazine and regular contributor to Gourmet Traveller Wine and Wine NZ.

Jane is a Senior Judge at the Royal Easter Wine Show, the NZ International Wine Show, Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards. She has judged in London, Tokyo, Brisbane, Rutherglen and Shanghai.

She is a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine and sits on the Advisory Board of Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand.

June 2nd, 2016