Huon Hooke is a leading independent wine writer, who makes his living entirely out of writing, judging, lecturing and educating about wine. A journalist first and wine professional second, he has tertiary qualifications in both fields and has worked in wineries and in wine retailing. He's been writing about wine since 1983. He is best known for his weekly columns in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Living section, and regular articles and tasting notes in Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, for which he is contributing editor, a tasting panel member and a columnist.
He writes for many wine publications including Decanter and The World of Fine Wine, judges about ten wine competitions a year in Australia and overseas, and is involved in judging or contributing to many other wine activities, including chairing the biennial Vin de Champagne Awards and various other competitions, also working as a panellist for SIPNOT (Stonier International Pinot Noir Tasting), a member of the judging panel for the annual Winemaker of the Year Award and various others.
He contributed a weekly column to Good Weekend magazine for over 20 years and chaired Australia's Wine List of The Year judging for its first 12 years. In calendar year 2010, he'll have judged at the Hunter Valley, Geelong, Tasmanian and Limestone Coast wine shows, Boutiques Wines of Australia and Tri Nations Wine Challenge.
He frequently judges in New Zealand and England, and has also judged in Canada, Chile, Belgium, Japan, Slovenia, South Africa and the US. He's in demand for public speaking engagements including hosting corporate tastings and dinners, and has given many wine appreciation courses.
He was co-author of the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide for 14 years up to 2007. The final edition won the Gold Ladle (first place) in the 'best drink guide book' category at the World Food Media Awards. He published 'Max Schubert, Winemaker' - a biography of Penfolds Grange creator Max Schubert - in 1996 and 'Words on Wine' in 1997.
Since 1984 he has won eight awards for wine writing. The latest is the Wine Communicator of the Year for 2008. Happily, the life of a wine writer involves plenty of food, travel and wine, which happen to be three of his main loves. His other hobbies are music, reading, fly-fishing, bush-walking, sailing, tennis and skiing.