The hospitality game has been home to Ben Edwards for more than 20 years and he has specialised in wine expertise and service from the beginning. He is a multi-award winning wine personality, and set up his business The Wine Guide in 2006 to consult to the hospitality sector, organise and present events and to facilitate wine education in the private arena alongside restaurants.
Ben's long and dedicated involvement in the trade has seen him become the first President of Sommeliers Australia
, an association dedicated to improving wine service, communication and career paths for its members. Sommeliers Australia has been a national organisation since early 2008.
The list of accolades attributed to Ben includes the Champagne Devaux Young Sommelier of the Year in 1999, and he was awarded the highly prized title of Dux at the Len Evans Tutorial
in 2003. Since that time show judging has been a high priority culminating in being invited to be the sole co-contributor to Australia's best selling wine guide, the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion
since 2008. Today Ben is Chairman of the Riverina Wine Show and the Canberra Regional Wine Show, while also being a panel chair at Australia's premier show, the RNCAS National Wine Show in Canberra, alongside many other judging duties.
Ben has been responsible for writing and maintaining some of Australia's most highly respected wine lists including circa the prince, France-Soir and Taxi Dining Room, and has utilised his extensive international wine knowledge to train some of Australia's top sommeliers.
Ben and his business partner Dan Sims are also responsible for creating and presenting an initiative with crikey.com.au, Cheers TV
, which has grabbed the attention of CEO Alan Kohler, and they are extending their video reviews and commentary to the Eureka Report, Business Spectator
under the rebranded guise of Wine Guide TV. Modern media, social networking and how the Internet communicates to wine lovers today, is at the central core of The Wine Guide business and philosophy.
The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
appointed Ben as Creative Director for the wine program in 2009, and he has breathed new life and depth in to one of the most exciting wine and food events in the world today.
In addition to this, Ben is particularly excited by a new project to be launched during the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2011 called Pinot Unearthed
, where the main aim is to create a community for Pinot Noir lovers around the world. He is doing this with Prince Hospitality Group wine buyer Chris Crawford and business partner Dan Sims.Follow Ben's exploits on Twitter