I discovered the joy of champagne on the day of my 18th birthday when I was offered a bottle of Bollinger. I immediately understood what Dom Perignon meant when he exclaimed ‘Come quickly, I’m tasting the stars!” when realising the wine he made actually had bubbles in it.
Life in France
I went on to marry a French man with family connections in the Champagne region.
We lived for over 10 years in France and developed a common interest in wines and champagnes. My understanding of winemaking was enhanced by regular visits to winemakers in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon and Champagne – my particular passion.
During my time in France, I became inducted as a ‘Chavalier-Sabreur’ (sabering knight) with the Confrerie du Sabre d’Or, an association founded to promote the enjoyment of drinking champagne with the Art of Sabrage.
Return to Australia
We moved back to Australia in 2006, and Phillippe and I created ‘The Truffle Man’ a gourmet food and wine business that imports specialist foods and small producer wines and champagnes from France.
I have since been sharing my passion for champagne through privately run masterclasses, key note speeches and corporate functions.
In August 2014, I was chosen as a finalist in the Professional Division of the prestigious Vin de Champagne Awards in Australia, recognising my knowledge of champagne to be one of the best in the country.
Over the last few years, I have studied extensively and have received my WSET level 3 certification (internationally recognised qualification in wine and spirits), and my master level in champagne studies with the Wine Scholars guild. I have been involved with the judging at the Royal Queensland Show as a steward, and have been invited over to London to judge at the Glass of Bubbly International Sparkling Wine Awards.