Hilton Auckland and Dine Social Auckland presents: The Masters of Wine Dinner

New Zealand is home to 16 Masters of Wine, each making their own unique contribution to the world of wine. This June, Hilton are excited to host and hear from three Masters of Wine (MW), featuring New Zealand’s first MW, Michael Brajkovich of Kumeu River, Sophie Parker-Thomson of Blank Canvas, and Paul Tudor as the MC for the evening.

The evening begins with a welcome reception at Bellini Bar, with snacks and live entertainment.

As you adjourn to FISH Restaurant, a four-course dinner designed by Chef Des Harris (Culinary Director at Hilton, ex-Clooney) awaits. During the evening, each course will be matched to wines by Blank Canvas and Kumeu River.


Michael Brajkovich MW, Kumeu River Wines, Kumeu

Michael studied Oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia. In 1981. He graduated as dux of his Bachelor’s Degree in Oenology and returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu, overseeing key responsibilities for wine production at Kumeu River Wines.

A new range of wines was developed under the Kumeu River label. Notably, the Chardonnay wines have received international recognition and awards across the globe. A testament to the standards the Brajkovich family has set for New Zealand Chardonnay.

In 1989, Michael Brajkovich became the first member from New Zealand to join the Institute of Masters of Wine, London and has judged at numerous wine awards and shows across New Zealand such as the Air NZ Wine Awards and several wine shows in Australia.

Sophie Parker-Thomson MW, Blank Canvas Wines, Marlborough

Sophie is Marlborough’s resident Master of Wine, having achieved this prestigious qualification in February 2021 – making her New Zealand’s newest, and the third female Master of Wine to the 16 strong contingent of MWs in the country. 

She is a lawyer by training but lived and breathed wine through her family's winery and hospitality businesses. Marlborough has been Sophie’s home for the past 11 years where she is general manager and co-owner of small-batch fine wine venture, Blank Canvas, which she owns with her husband, Matt Thomson. These wines celebrate the focus and detail of single-vineyard expressions in Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago.

Paul Tudor MW

Having worked in wine retail and education for over two decades and written for numerous publications across the world, as well as extensive experience in wine judging for publications and wine shows. Paul’s recent work has seen him in the hospitality industry providing consultancy and training on wine lists and education. 

Paul became a Master of Wine in 2006, joining other passionate New Zealanders in the Institute of Masters of Wine. When not obsessing about wine, he can often be found on a favourite river, or on the Hauraki Gulf, trying to catch fish with a flyrod.

Paul joins for this evening as the MC of The Masters of Wine Dinner. 

The Chef – Des Harris, Culinary Director of Hilton Auckland

Acclaimed chef Des Harris will be designing an exquisite menu to match the wines from Kumeu River and Blank Canvas. 

Des is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s most prominent and personable chefs. He has led some of the finest kitchens in the country over a 25 year career, gaining countless accolades from restaurant critics and media alike. Amongst many achievements, Des was Clooney Restaurant’s Executive Chef for almost 9 years, and was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ and led the restaurant to a 3 Hat standard in the inaugural edition of the Good Food Guide. 

At present, Des is the Culinary Director at Hilton Auckland, overseeing the hotel’s F&B operations and as well as propelling FISH Restaurant to new heights, having recently achieved one hat at the 2021/2022 Cuisine Good Food Awards. 


Important Note: As this is an exclusive one-off menu specially designed for the evening, regrettably we are not able to accommodate to dietary requests.

Strictly R18. Host responsibility limits apply.


Flat fee of $7 per day on weekends at Fanshawe Street carpark. Find out more.

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Last updated: 01 June 2022