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The charismatic and witty Ben Knight wears many hats within the Australian wine industry: Wine writer, Creative Consultant for Melbourne Food and Wine and Wine Director for Bottega Restaurant are just a few of his prestigious positions.
He’s a certified sommelier with extensive experience and he’s quite the regular on the Melbourne food and wine scene, with stints at Vue de Monde, Gin Palace, La Luna and Syracuse under his belt. Ben now owns and operates Ben and Wine.
Ben Knight is the owner and operator of the Melbourne-based Ben and Wine. His motto is Wine Made Simple and this is reflected in his teachings.
He has over 15 years’ hospitality experience with a recent focus on consultancy. Ben has completed the certified sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers and he completed WSET levels 2 and 3, and is currently embarking on the level 4 diploma. Ben has been running beginner wine courses in Melbourne since 2007.
When he’s not imparting his incredible and extensive wine knowledge on Wine Society members and guests, he’s writing articles for Gourmet Traveller, Melbourne Weekly, Broadsheet magazine and The Guardian Australia, as well as consulting to a number of Melbourne restaurants on their wine list selection.
A dynamic and vibrant member of The Wine Society’s education team, Jacquie’s passion for wine is infectious. Both enthusiastic and knowledgeable, she has accumulated wine experience from around the globe. Jacquie holds a WSET level 4 diploma and is a qualified saké sommelier. She boasts industry experience from her family vineyard to fine establishments, including One & Only Le Saint Géran as well as Spoon by Alain Ducasse. Jacquie heads wine education and communications consultancy Wine Construct.
“For as long as I can remember, my life has been focused around my passion for wine. From helping out on my grandfather’s small vineyard to working at the famous Lake House in Daylesford and high-end boutique Ten Minutes by Tractor, I began my career in Australia working for some exceptional people. Over on French terrain, I was the sommelier for many years at the renowned One & Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius and Alain Ducasses’ Spoon. It was here that I became the group’s top selling Sommelier worldwide. I spent further time working for Alain Ducasse in the Luberon in Provence where I met renowned winemakers and tasted their celebrated wines. My hands-on tasting experience extends to Spain, South Africa, Lebanon and Italy to name a few.
I have also spent time in the Middle East as the Head Sommelier at the renowned Zuma group, Dubai. During my time there, Zuma earned its place in the coveted San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants in the World and my wine lists gained international recognition at the Wine Spectator Awards.
My consultancy work has been wide and varied. I have spoken at a number of seminars and conferences and worked with international events, from Grand Prix Ferrari dinners to high-end private functions. I write for wine-focused websites and magazines, and consult on wine lists for famous chefs such as Greg Malouf. Every day I continue to keenly share the wonderful wine experience and knowledge I have been lucky enough to accumulate throughout my career”.
Astute and talented, Stephen Knight is a long-serving face of The Wine Society. With over 30 years’ experience ranging from wine retailing to restaurant management and wine show judging, Stephen is a passionate and respected industry veteran. These days, Stephen operates his own wine education outfit, Wine Knight.
Stephen has over 30 years of wine industry experience, including twelve years in wine retailing, restaurant management and wine list consultation.
Corporate companies far and wide have sought his expertise, including IBM, Ernst & Young, Wine Odyssey Sydney and Maxxium Wine Wholesalers to name a few.
Stephen has lent his expert palate to various wine shows, including the New South Wales Wine Awards, the Australian Boutique Wine Association Awards and The Wine Society’s very own Young Winemaker of the Year Award.
He is also a regular contributor to wine and food magazines such as Winestate, and is a director of wine education company Wine Knight.
Stephen currently coordinates the wine education programme for a number of Sydney adult education colleges as well as The Wine Society. He continues his passion for wine education, wine writing and presenting.
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