Sophie Stewart, Marketing Manager at Fesq & Company.
What was your ‘watershed’ wine moment?
During a brief stint living in Melbourne, I realised the city really was one of the most exciting hospitality and wine communities to be. I was embarking on WSET and working in a wine bar with all the cool kids and felt completely part of something special and wine-obsessed. I already had a keen interest, but this was where I really caught the bug for wine.
How would you describe your wine collection?
Chardonnay heavy. I love how the variety becomes nutty and svelte over time so I’m trying my hardest to keep them cellared, but most often I can’t help myself and they are drunk too early.
What are you enjoying drinking right now?
Champagne! Hey, ‘tis the season. Also, I want to feel like we can celebrate something (anything!) after 2020.
What do you think the wine industry will see more or less of in 2021?
The learnings from COVID combined with the influence of millennials and gen z will continue to see a focus on health and the environment. People think more carefully about the products they purchase – who and where they come from, what’s in them, sustainability credentials.While we might see alcohol consumption trending down, I would argue there’s good news for wine, because it’s a product rich in stories and passionate producers who care devotedly about quality and their environment.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to start their career in wine?
Someone told me to do the same, and it’s taken me years to follow through – have the confidence to be honest about what you’re tasting. Be professional of course, but back your palate.Also, read plenty and expand your vocabulary to help you find the words you’re looking for when you’re trying to describe a wine!

Fesq & Co. is the proud sponsor of Steve Senturk in the Best Sommelier of Australia 2020.