Drink Easy’s judges are an inclusive, diverse, and experienced team of drinks professionals and gatekeepers who are not only technically-adept but have a great understanding of consumer consumption.
Emma’s passion for the wine industry has produced award-winning wine lists across top venues in Perth for two decades. As Director of Wine for State Buildings & Como’s The Treasury, Emma’s invaluable insights and industry-wide network enables her to curate unique wine lists and wine events for each of the award-winning restaurants at State Buildings, including Wildflower, Long Chim, Post, Petition Kitchen and Wine Merchant. Emma also creates world-class experiences for the guests of the 48-room luxury hotel.
Emma studied under the guidance of Dr Steve Charters, Master of Wine. Since then, she has worked as a Sommelier and consulted on various wine lists and menus, earning her recognition through numerous awards including Gourmet Traveller Wine and her induction into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2013. She was awarded 2017 Sommelier of the Year at the WA Good Food Guide awards and Sommelier of the Year at the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant awards.
Former owner of Fall from Grace, Gill Gordon-Smith now makes wine using Italian grape varieties under the La Madrina Label and leads the TAFE SA Wine and Spirits School team. Gill is one of only 15 people and the first Australian to achieve the Vinitaly International Italian wine Expert certification. She is WCA 2017 Wine Communicator and Educator of the Year, a Judge for the Qantas Wine List of the Year awards and The 2020 AWIWA Woman of Inspiration. Whilst she has a well educated international palate Gill is passionate about Australian wine and travels regularly to judge and taste wines both in Australia and Italy.
Fred Siggins has worked in the hospitality and drinks industries for over 20 years as a brand manager, educator, cocktail bartender, consultant and chef. He is currently Chief Storyteller for Whisky & Alement, one of Australia's most respected whisky bars. He also writes about spirits and drinks culture and is a frequent contributor to various national and international publications. He sat on the spirits panel for Drink Easy during the inaugural awards and has been a judge and panel chair for the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards since 2017.
Head Distiller and Co-founder of the Never Never Distilling Co. The NND was established in 2017 and has quickly grown into a bartender and consumer favourite gin in Australia and internationally.
Beer + Cider Judges
With a passion for beer that was sparked by English Real Ale, Liam is Certified Cicerone and BJCP Judge. After a few different roles for Camperdown Cellars, Timeout, The Welcome Hotel, Sydney Beer Week to name a few Liam currently works for Batch Brewing Co as their Group Venue and Events Manager.
Thurman Wise has crafted a career that encompasses a truly global understanding of drinks.
He learnt from some of the best over an 8-year career working in New York’s top bars and restaurants. After his years behind the bar, he then moved onto helping Absolut Vodka and its family of brands to develop its innovation pipeline, assisting in the development and execution of numerous new products and brands.
After his time with Absolut he moved to the Pernod Ricard’s entrepreneurial start up Our Vodka, a global collection of micro-distilleries. Over 3 years he assisted in the roll out and development of distilleries in LA, Detroit, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and London.
His journey to create innovative new brands and products has seen him explore and connect to over 120 cities across 60 countries, working with the best bartenders, mixologists and creatives to develop a deep understanding of global beverage trends and experience the abundance of flavours and traditions our world has to offer.
Now at CAPI as Brand and Innovation Director, Thurman works to craft the future of CAPI’s brand and product offerings, incorporating his passions for health and sustainability into all that he creates.
Submissions Close Thursday, Sep 1st 2022