Stephen Wong MW

Wine Writer & Educator

Ex-sommelier with an unused law degree, Stephen found his place in wine through hospitality and education; advising restaurants and hotels on their wine programmes, providing training courses for industry and running masterclasses. Since gaining his MW in 2016, he has been active on the Institute’s education committee and is currently co-chair of their Diversity and Transformation Committee as well as the 2026 MW Symposium Committee. He judges several wine shows a year, speaks at conferences , writes for Cuisine and The Real Review, and represents New Zealand wines for NZ Winegrowers internationally, as well as being the NZ ambassador of the VDP.

His passion for education led to the creation of the 1st Year Fundamentals in Wine paper for Le Cordon Bleu NZ’s Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Business degree and he helps teach WSET. Stephen’s interest in taste, language and communication resulted in him co-founding Stompy and TasteMPR, a digital taste intelligence algorithm which maps wine taste and customer palates. His areas of focus in wine are centered around Burgundy; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aligoté and Gamay, as well as the wines of Germany and Austria. He has an on and off relationship with natural wines, being a co-organiser of the Budburst festival and Nouvelle.

“Chardonnay in all its forms fascinates me as a grape that is more sensitive than most people give it credit for – it responds so easily to winemaking influence which, if not judged carefully, can obscure its innate ability to transmit nuances of terroir. Producers outside of Bourgogne have only recently started mastering the tools to understand this grape and New Zealand is showing outstanding potential for truly profound expressions of Chardonnay.”

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