Our Tasting Team

Angus (wine writer)

Angus Hughson is a prolific wine communicator. Angus was awarded the Gourmet Traveller Wine Young Writer Award in 2005, and was a Len Evans Scholar in 2006. Since this time, he has been a regular columnist for The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Australian Way (Qantas in-flight magazine), and The Herald Sun.  He is also an occasional contributor to Gourmet Traveller Wine, along with becoming an experienced show judge at The Royal Sydney Wine Show, The Hunter Valley Wine Show, and Macedon Ranges Wine Show.

Currently, Angus is studying for his ‘Masters of Wine’, and acting as a brand creation and development consultant for the wine industry. In 2007, Angus released his first book ‘World Wine: The Imported Wine Handbook’.  In 2008, ‘The Psychology of Wine Tasting’ which was an extension of his PhD, was published.

David (sommelier)

David Lawler is a career sommelier and a stalwart of the Melbourne restaurant scene. David has helped to establish the Rockpool Group in Melbourne, opening Rockpool Bar & Grill in 2006. Since this time his responsibilities have expanded to encompass the role as Beverage Director of Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne, Spice Temple Melbourne and Rosetta Ristorante; a very diverse position that sees him tasting and evaluating many different wines for many different occasions and food styles.

He is the winner of many coveted Australian wine awards including being awarded the 2005 Len Evans Scholar, the 2011 Australian Gourmet Traveller & Fine Wine Partners Judy Hirst Award, the 2011 Australian Gourmet Traveller & Fine Wine Partners Wine List of the Year (Rockpool Melb), the 2011 Age Good Food Guide, Sommelier of the Year, the 2011 Age Good Food Guide, Wine List of the Year (Rockpool Melbourne), the 2012 Age Good Food Guide Wine List of the Year (Spice Temple Melbourne).

David is the outgoing Vice-President of the Sommelier’s Association and he continues to create numerous wine lists for a number of leading Melbourne restaurants. Prior joining the Rockpool Group, David spent three years as Head Sommelier at Vue de monde, after working as Head Sommelier at Ondine. Prior to these appointments David’s resume shows some of Melbourne’s finest dining rooms; Langtons, Paul Bocuse, The Latin and Bortolottos’s.


Henry (Wine Genius Managing Director, wine specialist and educator)

Graduating from Edinburgh University in Scotland with an MA Honours Degree in Geography, Henry Dawson-Damer was awarded one of the Faculty’s highest commendations for his comprehensive thesis on the Australian Wine Industry.

Returning to Australia in 1993, Henry alongside winemaker Simon Gilbert undertook a bold project to convert a redundant milk factory in the Hunter Valley into a 1000 tonne crushing and winemaking facility. In 1997 Henry moved from winemaking to wine marketing, when he joined Cellarmaster Wines.

Henry then joined Rosemount Estate in 1998 as a wine marketing executive. In 2001, he was appointed Global Marketing Director for Southcorp’s boutique wine brands. Later he worked as a Senior Manager of Wine Education for Fosters, sharing the love of more than 60 wine brands throughout Australia, Europe and North America.

Henry is currently studying for the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine and continues his roles as a wine educator and marketing advisor for many of the finest wine brands in the world.


Chris (Former Wine Genius CEO and contributor)

Chris Bolden’s wine knowledge was initially acquired under the tutelage of the late Walter Bourke at Walter’s Wine Bar. Commencing in 1996, whilst studying for his Bachelor of Applied Science, Walter employed Chris initially as a trainee, then promoted him to Sommelier, then Wine Buyer and finally Restaurant Manager.

Moving to a position in the Yarra Valley, after completing his first Degree, Chris successfully completed a Masters of Business Management, whilst also working as the Brand and Wine Manager at Coombe Farm Winery for a seven year period. Since that time Chris, has been enthusiastically involved in winemaking, working as a Consulting Business Strategist to a number of leading wine brands, and becoming a family man in Melbourne. Currently, Chris in the CEO of Wine Genius, a role that involves a renewed interest in technology, and a role of working creatively alongside experts within the wine industry. Chris is excited to be writing about wine again.