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2014 Vin de Champagne Awards winners

Fate coincided in a happy way when Champagne aficionados Annette Lacey and Tom Warrell (pictured above) respectively won the professional and amateur sections of the 2014 Vin de Champagne Awards on Monday, September 22.

Lacey had been a finalist in the professional section of the award twice before, and the judges were impressed at the way she had developed and matured as a Champagne expert in all three areas of the examination: written paper, face-to-face exam and tasting exam. Lacey is a wine educator at the Sydney Wine Academy. As chairman of the judging panel, I did not find out until the awards presentation ceremony that Lacey had taught the amateur winner, Tom Warrell, at the academy. Quality begets quality. Warrell is the operations manager for Uber taxis. Both reside in Sydney.

My fellow judges were Peter Bourne and Bernadette O’Shea, together with the head of the Champagne Information Centre and organizer of the awards, Elisabeth Drysdale. First-round judges were Paul Boothby, Lexie Thompson and Jim Smith. 

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