Meet our Tasting Panel...
Our Tasting Panelists are a team of wine professionals with many years of wine experience and expertise between them. They make sure you get the best quality and value, every time.
They taste and judge all wines using Australian Wine Show standards. Only wines that achieve points equivalent to a wine show Bronze-medal score make the cut. That means you can always be sure you’re getting the best wine buys, guaranteed.
Corey Ryan – Tasting Panel Chairman, Winemaker & Wine Show Judge
It gives me great pleasure to announce the new Chairman of the Cellarmasters Tasting Panel is Trophy-winning Winemaker Corey Ryan.
Corey is a “Blue Chip” winemaker who started his career at Southcorp, then spent 6 years as winemaker for Henschke in the Eden Valley. He then spent 7 years as Chief Winemaker at Villa Maria in Auckland before becoming the Group Chief Winemaker at McWilliams in 2008. Corey has also worked in the Rhone Valley in France and in Spain and in Italy. His talent and skills as a respected wine show judge make him the perfect person to lead the Cellarmasters Tasting Panel.
Jo Gear - Trophy-winning winemaker
Following an early passion for wine, Jo worked as a cellar hand in Hawkes Bay with Corbans in the 1990s, then went on to complete a postgraduate diploma in Viticulture and Oeneology.
Jo worked a vintage in California before returning to work for Matua Valley Wines from 2001–2005. Jo is currently responsible for crafting wines from premier regions such as Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Highlight awards include a trophy for Matua Valley Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2005 and a 93-point Wine Spectator score for Matua Valley Paretai Sauvignon Blanc 2005.
Mike DeGaris - Winemaker, Wine Judge, Wine Consultant
After graduating from Roseworthy College in 1980 with a B.Sc (Oenology), Mike DeGaris began his career as Assistant Winemaker at Tyrrell’s in the Hunter Valley, eventually moving to the position of Senior Winemaker.
This was followed by chief winemaker positions in Australia (eventually as General Manager and Winemaker at Rothbury Estate) and NZ, where Mike was a regular panellist for Cuisine magazine. He has also judged at the Hunter Valley Wine Show, Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards and Liquorland Top 100 (NZ).
Christine Ricketts – Wine Educator
With an Associate Diploma in Wine Marketing from Adelaide University’s Roseworthy College, Christine gained experience as a Cellar hand at Saltram in the Barossa Valley, and at the Cellar Door of Charles Melton and Leasingham wineries.
Christine has also offered wine advice on ABC radio. Today, as a respected Wine Educator, Christine shares her experience and knowledge with a new generation of wine lovers.