Kim Bickley, Group Sommelier for Hiltons Sydney & Surfers Paradise
Kim Bickley
Executive Sommelier - Hilton Sydney

NAME: Kim Bickley

POSITION: Executive Sommelier - Hilton Sydney



BEST VARIETAL/REGION: Pinot from Burgundy - Rousseau in particular




MEMBERS' TIP-OFF: 2010 La Linea Norteno Tempranillo from Adelaide Hills

If someone else were paying, Kim Bickley’s choice of red wine would be a Pinot from Burgundy – Rousseau in particular. The self-described “career sommelier and all-round passionate wine person”, lists restaurants, wine bars and vineyards as her loves – tossing in scuba diving at the end.

Well, we know she loves a Pinot – Pinot Noir indeed being cited as her favorite variety of red. In the white department it’s a Riesling – although this winter has seen her heartily getting into Australian Chardonnays, “especially the wines from Oakridge”, she adds. Adding to her enthusiasm are “all the exciting  ’alternate’ varietals being produced in Australia.” As for preferred wine regions, it’s a tough question. “It depends”, she explains, “on the circumstance. I love the Hunter as I have many good friends out there, Barossa for its old vines and historic places and Mosel in Germany because it’s just so strikingly beautiful. But the list goes on.”

Most recently opened with her Code38 was a 2005 Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin – however a bottle with a broken cork has proven to be the most exciting wine she’s ever used it on, A Nebuchadnezzar of Moet&Chandon, no less. “I have a special ‘safe’ technique for opening Champagne bottles with broken corks”, she says, “as they often find their way to me from other parts of the hotel. The fact that I was not sure if I could retrieve the cork or even if the wine was still petillant or not was what made it exciting. It turned out to be a very good bottle.”

Kim’s most memorable wine experience was being a scholar at the Len Evans Tutorial in 2008, an event she describes as life-changing. As for a wine she would like other Code38 members to try, she’s going for the new release 2010 La Linea Norteno Tempranillo from Adelaide Hills. She recently tasted it and was very impressed. “It has a great silky texture with just the right amount of ripe yet savory tannins to balance. Hints of wild raspberries, blueberry and vanilla come to mind with this wine and it’s very hard to stop at one glass.” Kim’s suggested food match is charcuterie and in particular pancetta.  But “if you can get your hands on some Lonza from Salumi Australia, it would be a match made in heaven.” La Linea’s website, she adds, is the best place value-wise to buy this wine:

As for her Code38, aside from it being an Australian design, it is it’s “sleek elegant look and top-notch quality” that she loves.

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