Huon Hooke

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Huon Hooke is one of Australia's major wine writers and critics, Chair of the Vin de Champagne Awards, judge of the Australian Winemaker of the Year and a number of other major wine competitions. He tastes wines blind and writes for Decanter, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Sydney Morning Herald and judges about ten wine competitions a year in Australia, New Zealand, Italy and other countries.

Huon Hooke at Geelong Wine Show 2010

Life and career[edit]

Hooke's career in wine started in 1983. Today he is widely known for his reviews in the Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine and his weekly wine section in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Living section. In 2011 Hooke started his own online presence and mobile app, where all of his tasting notes are available.

Huon Hooke chairs Australia’s Wine List of The Year, is the founding chairman of the Boutique Wine Awards and judges about 10 competitions per year in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Italy, England, Canada, Chile, Belgium, Japan, Slovenia, South Africa and others. Huon has many public speaking engagements including hosting corporate tastings and dinners, and has given many wine appreciation courses.

For 17 years Hooke co-authored the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide, amongst many other wine books.

Hooke has been awarded eight reviews for wine writing. In 2008 he was awarded Wine Communicator of the Year.

His long-term de facto partner was Australian artist Bronwyn Oliver.

[1] [2]

Scoring method[edit]

Huon Hooke at Geelong wine show

Hooke prefers blind tastings and is independent from any retail interests. Huon does not hire other people to taste wine on his behalf. On his website Hooke describes his approach as follows: ::"Almost all the wines I review are first tasted ‘blind’. I believe it is important for that first impression to be uncoloured by any preconception that may come from viewing the label. Having blind-tasted, though, I don’t consider the result to be holy writ: after unmasking I always check, and if necessary re-taste. No-one’s palate is perfect and there are always wines that will “fall through the cracks”, ending up with rougher treatment than they deserve. In blind tasting, it is easy for a minor blemish to have a disproportionate influence on the assessment. We have to be mindful that wine is a drink, and often, wines with a small imperfection are often great to drink. A slight whiff of reduction in a young riesling may be a defect to a clinical blind-taster in his ivory tower, but in the final summation, it is barely worth commenting on – and usually dissipates after a little exposure to the air anyway." [3]

Wine review coverage[edit]

Huon Hooke's wine reviews comprise 30,000 notes and ratings and are focused on wines from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • France – focus on Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy & Rhone wines
  • Italy – known to be a fan of Barolo, Hooke often participates in annual tasting events in Piemonte




  1. ^ "Huon's biography on Savour Australia". Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Sydney Morning Herald & Good Living Section on Huon Hooke". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Hooke, Huon. "How I taste and score". Website. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Huon Hooke's website".