Raymond Chan is a highly respected wine advisor in the New Zealand wine scene with over two decades of wine judging, retailing and writing experience. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand with his partner Sue Davies, a wine distributor, who also has around two decades of wine industry experience. His son Oliver, studied at Victoria University, recently graduated with a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture and is now working in Christchurch.
Born and educated in Dunedin, and entering the hospitality industry with family members owning and operating the famous Chan's Garden Restaurant for ten years, Raymond joined the liquor trade in 1989 as a wine advisor for Wilson Neill in Wellington. Based in the capital city, Raymond worked with Liquorland, O'Reilly's Wines & Spirits, Glengarry Hancocks and became a shareholder at Regional Wines & Spirits until 2010 when he established Raymond Chan Wine Reviews.
Since 1988, Raymond has been involved in all of New Zealand's major wine judging competitions, including the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, Bragato Wine Awards, Liquorland ‘Top 100', the New Zealand International Wine Show, the International Chardonnay Challenge and other regional shows as a senior judge and panel leader. He is also a multi New Zealand and Australasian Wine Options champion, having participated in these competitions since the mid-1980s.
Fascination in all aspects of wine has taken Raymond to practical winemaking with vintage experience at Benfield & Delamare and Te Mata Estate. Wine and food judging for the Corbans Wine & Food Challenges plus several terms as Wine Master at the Beefsteak and Burgundy Club of Tinakori have given valuable experience in cuisine matching. Recent activities have included the total logistics role in event management as Wine Director for the 2001 and 2004 Pinot Noir conference industry showcases and consultant for the Pinot Noir 2007 event.
In early 2009, Raymond had a cancerous tumour surgically removed from his left parotid (saliva) gland. Subsequent treatment involved radio and chemotherapy, which thankfully did not take away his ability to taste. Appreciative of the outcome, the experience has given him a strong outlook and desire to pass on his knowledge and experience of wines.
Raymond believes in the importance of communication and education as the basis for healthy, moderate and informed consumption of wine and indeed all alcoholic beverages. With his close association and understanding of the wine industry and the wine drinker, Raymond will be able to bring them closer through Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, enhancing the enjoyment of wine, food and life in general.