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New Zealand Wine Reviewers

Black Market displays a number of independent reviews and endorsements from a variety of sources (we reckon, the more the better). We believe that by communicating as much information to our members about our wines, they’ll be in the best position to make a purchase that we know they’ll love.

At Black Market, we utilise a combination of independent reviews from local and international critics, plus independent awards from national and international wine/spirits competitions and independent consumer reviews. For various reasons, some of the products advertised on our site don’t enter wine shows/competitions e.g. export labels, imported wines etc. In this situation wines will generally display independent wine reviewer assessments. If/when these wines win awards, this detail is then added to the website.

We also encourage our members to comment and vote on the product they have purchased. The member feedback and reviews system is designed to provide members with a fair and balanced representation of the averaged star rating from other members who have purchased the product. The total average result is displayed prominently on the products listing details, as well as member feedback with a 3 Star plus rating. We value all member feedback and for this reason, any 1-2 Star ratings are investigated directly by our team. This feedback is very important to Black Market as it may inform the products we offer to our members.


Sam Kim, Wine Orbit

Sam Kim has been involved in New Zealand hospitality for the last 30 years, has judged at various wine competitions, writes for a number of magazines and provides wineries with independent wine reviews. Sam's publication, Wine Orbit, is advertising-free; instead, it charges submission fee to each wine entered into formal tastings. 

Each wine is rated out of 20 points, which is then converted to a 100 point scale and one-to-five star rating.

Sam has been a senior judge at:

  • New Zealand International Wine Show
  • New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards
  • New World Wine Awards
  • Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Sam is also a regular panel member for Cuisine magazine.

To learn more about Sam Kim, click here.

Cameron Douglas

Cameron Douglas is New Zealand's first Master Sommelier and an experienced wine writer, commentator, reviewer and judge. The following information comes from his website:

As a professional Sommelier, Cameron spends much of his time involved in education – academically in charge of the Wine and Beverage Programme at AUT University in Auckland, and ‘out in the field’, consulting for the Wine, Hospitality and Tourism sector, and the interested public. He is Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association and consults to a variety of establishments, taking care of their wine lists, wine and food pairing, and staff training matters.

To learn more about Cameron Douglas, click here.

Raymond Chan & Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Raymond Chan was a highly respected wine advisor in the New Zealand wine scene with over two decades of wine judging, retailing and writing experience.

From 1988 onwards, Raymond was involved in all of New Zealand’s major wine judging competitions, including:

  • The Air New Zealand Wine Awards
  • Royal Easter Show Wine Awards
  • The New Zealand International Wine Show
  • The International Chardonnay Challenge
  • Other regional shows as a senior judge and panel leader.

Since May 2020, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews are now being offered by Candice Chow.

To learn more about Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, click here.

Yvonne Lorkin

Yvonne graduated with top honours from the world renowned Wine Marketing Diploma Programme at Adelaide University (formerly known as Roseworthy College).This involved four years of intensive study with the course being split evenly between grape growing, winemaking, winery operations, international business, marketing & management.

Before becoming an independent wine writer and founding member of the Wine Writers of New Zealand group, Yvonne successfully helped launch and reinvigorate wine brands by writing creative press releases and copy, advising on PR strategy, branding, labelling and artwork. She also launched the famous Hastings City Wine Club, the only wine club based from within a supermarket in this part of the world.

Yvonne regularly hosts wine education workshops and tastings for private groups, such as corporate clients wishing to treat their staff to something a little different.

To learn more about Yvonne Lorkin, click here.

Bob Campbell, Master of Wine (MW)

Bob Campbell was the second New Zealander and is one of just over 300 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. He founded The Wine Gallery, an Auckland based wine school, in 1990 and is widely regarded as the New Zealand's foremost wine educator. Over 22,000 people have attended wine courses and wine seminars run by Bob Campbell throughout New Zealand and in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and London. He currently teaches the New Zealand Level Two Wine Certificate in China and Hong Kong in association with NZ Winegrowers.

Bob was awarded the title Columnist of the Year (Home & Food section) at the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) Awards in 2006 and Columnist of the Year (Home & Food Section) again in 2008. He was the inaugural recipient of the Sir George Fistonich medal in recognition for services to wine and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Bob Campbell, click here.

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper is New Zealand’s most acclaimed wine writer, with 40 books and several major literary awards to his credit, including the Montana Medal for the supreme work of non-fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards for his magnum opus, Wine Atlas of New Zealand‘.

In the 2004 New Year Honours, Michael was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wine writing. Author of the country’s biggest-selling wine book, the annual New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide, now in its 24th edition, he was awarded the Sir George Fistonich Medal in recognition of services to New Zealand wine in 2009. The award is made each year at the country’s largest wine competition, the New Zealand International Wine Show, to a ‘living legend’ of New Zealand wine.

The weekly wine columnist for the New Zealand Listener, he is also New Zealand editor of Australia’s Winestate magazine and chairman of its New Zealand tasting panel.

To learn more about Michael Cooper, click here.

Jo Burzynska

Wine author, journalist, judge and lecturer, Jo Burzynska is one of New Zealand’s leading wine communicators, penning one of the country’s most widely read wine columns in the New Zealand Herald’s Viva magazine, as well as contributing to specialist wine publications worldwide.

Jo is the author of Wine Class: all you need to know about wine in New Zealand (Random House) and runs the Adventures in Wine school.

To learn more about Jo Burzynska, click here.

Angie Atkinson, The Wine Writer

Previously a successful restauranteur in Wanaka and Auckland, Angie is now a well-known wine industry professional. Her love of wine started with a Champagne tasting twenty-three years ago and evolved into a lifelong obsession. Having spent the past ten years working with many outstanding New Zealand and International brands, Angie completed her Certified Sommelier qualification and WSET Diploma in 2018. Now the wine writer for M2 and M2Woman magazines, she has recently launched her new business, The Wine Writer, providing unpaid reviews for the wine industry. When she’s not tasting wine, reviewing wine, writing about wine or talking about wine, she’s probably drinking wine!



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