Writer, author, journalist and wine lover. This is my blog... Read on for weekly profiles on the people behind the wines, food and other beverages we enjoy

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About Joelle...

If you have found this online magazine and want to know more, here is a little bit of detail about my writing, wine and life.

I am a journalist, author and wine writer and live in Martinborough, a remote rural wine village in the Wairarapa, 90 minutes’ hilly drive from Wellington city. I trained to be a journalist on an old fashioned typewriter at Wellington Polytechnic in 1989.

I have since written about design, gardens, nudist camps, sperm donors and a raft of other weird and wonderful topics for a vast number of news stand magazines as well as written for most of New Zealand’s large daily newspapers.

I am the published author of 15 books about wine and hold the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.

When not writing, tasting wine for work or enjoying it for pleasure, I love music, cooking for friends, travelling and walking in the hills.

My turangawaewae is the South Island of New Zealand.

Like all published authors, I am working on the next book…

Enough about me. If you’d like to get in touch...

Friday drinks with Bertrand Soalhat

August 5, 2022
If Bertrand Soalhat was to have his choice of reincarnation, he would come back to his wife and son, to the business he has recently begun and to a life of wine. He is the founder, owner and one man band behind Bare Wines, a new importing company with a long history in drinks behind it. He spoke to ...
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The number of books I have published


The year I wrote my first wine column!


The number of Annual Wine Guides I have written

My Bio

I trained in journalism on an old fashioned typwriter at Wellington Polytechnic in 1989.

  • I currently work as a wine writer and update this website every Friday.
  • I work as a wine advisor at Regional Wines & Spirits; writing and tasting wines from around the world on an (almost) daily basis.
  • I am on the judging panel at the 2019 Marlborough Wine Show.
  • I have judged at wine shows regularly since 1995; mostly in New Zealand and also in Australia and South Africa.
  • I hold the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.

  • I write for Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, Capital magazine and www.joellethomson.com
  • I wrote my first wine column in 1994 and am the author of 16 wine books (published by New Holland and HarperCollins), including 10 annual wine guides.
  • I regularly host wine tastings for private and corporate groups.
  • My teaching spans many years at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine in Auckland where I taught certificate wine courses (both New Zealand and the WSET – Wine & Spirit Education Trust).

I remember the first moment I fell in love with wine on a dark and stormy night, literally, when I was bitten by the big buttery Chardonnay bug at a cafe in Wellington, New Zealand, in the late 1980s.