Writer, author, wine lover

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About Joelle...

All about wine and all things related

Wine writing, tasting, advisory work and education occupies my time in Martinborough, Wellington city and beyond. I trained to be a journalist on an old fashioned typewriter at Wellington Polytechnic in 1989 and havesince written about design, gardens, nudist camps, sperm donors and a raft of other weird and wonderful topics for a vast number of newspapers and magazines. I am the published author of 15 books about wine and hold the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s highest qualification, the Level 4 Diploma.

Music, food, cooking, travelling and being outside are my passions.

My turangawaewae is the South Island of New Zealand.

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

If you’d like to get in touch, email...     mailme@joellethomson.com

What I'm drinking this week - Abel Chardonnay

February 27, 2024
New Chardonnay from two generations and a small region.Wine of the week, 2 March 20242021 Abel Tasman Chardonnay RRP $28.99This new release is the fourth vintage of Abel Chardonnay, which is made by founder-owners Mark and Sophie McGill in collaboration with her parents, James and Wendy Healy (co-fo...
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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.