JANE Thomson, the founder of The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society and the Australian Women in Wine Awards, should have been in France leading a tour group in Champagne.
COVID-19 put a stop to that and instead Thomson was in Newcastle on Saturday as a guest speaker at a Gallic-themed wine luncheon, featuring French cuisine and wines from Burgundy and Champagne.
The sell-out event at Wickham's Flotilla Restaurant was organised by specialist French wine importers Decante This and Flotilla.
Decante This' founder and CEO Leigh Dryden and Ms Thomson hosted the three-course luncheon prepared by Flotilla's chefs Shayne Mansfield, Paul Niddrie and Jess Brooks. The food was matched with the latest 2018 vintages from Burgundy from Domaine Albert Bichot and Champagne Vadin-Plateau. Mr Dryden said that although it wasn't possible to travel to France now, the luncheon offered "a rare chance to celebrate the very best of French wines and cuisine".
IN OTHER NEWS:
Thomson is a professional wine event host, author, wine writer and wine tour leader and in 2013, 2016 and last year she won the Wine Communicators Australia digital communicator of the year awards. She founded The Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society to increase wine industry gender diversity and, to provide female role models, established the AWIWAs.
Past award presentations have been staged in London and New York and the 2020 sixth annual awards are now being decided.
The finalists have just been announced, with the Hunter's Lisa Margan of Margan Estate at Broke as one of the three contenders for theowner-operator of the year category.
The category's other finalists are South Australian entrants Melissa Brown of Gemtree Wines and Laura Carter - Unico Zelo.
The winner, along with the recipients of the winemaker of the year, cellar door person of the year, viticulturist of the year, champion of diversity and equality and marketer of the year awards, will be announced on November 24.
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