Candice Chow is from a hospitality background with two decades of fine dining expertise. Candice was born and raised in Hong Kong, has a strong passion for fine food and wine. She was attracted to work in establishments with fine cuisine; Spoon by Alain Ducasse, three-Michelin-starred Caprice at the Four Seasons Hotel HK were the last two places she worked before leaving Hong Kong to her working holiday in Australia. Planned to take a break for three months, turned out spending two years travelled all the states of Australia and still did not want to head home. Arrived in New Zealand in 2009 at a chance of continuing a working holiday, when she arrived in Queenstown, she took a micro-second to decide that she could ‘stay here for a while’ and here still, with her husband Gary Copsey and son Isaac.
Over 10 years of experience in NZ hospitality, Candice based in Queenstown and worked in a few of the high-quality establishments in town; Eichardt’s Private Hotel, The Rees Hotel, Rata by Josh Emett to name a few.
Living and working in Queenstown with the proximity to the wine region, Central Otago certainly has its perks. There are many opportunities to visit, taste, learn from the winemakers and hands-on experiences of grape picking, winemaking to bottling. She took all the opportunities to learn then share her experiences to educate restaurant staff.
The industry recognised her passion. In 2017, Candice was one of the ten sommeliers from New Zealand invited to the 50 Best “Somms of The World” programme organised by Wine Australia, together with New Zealand top sommeliers Mundo Ferrera La Fuente Wine & Mezcal, Maciej Zimmy Noble Rot Wine Bar, Wayne Shennen Rangitoto Tokyo and Sonja Anich, led by Cameron Douglas MS, joined another 40 international top sommeliers immersed in Australian wines. Candice was also the only candidate from NZ selected to be an NZ Wine Sommit™ Scholar 2019, led by Stephen Wong MW and Ronan Sayburn MS, she joined 18 international sommeliers for an intense programme of NZ wines, learning from each other and attended ISBC in Marlborough.
Her passion continues to grow; she runs the Queenstown Sommeliers Club (a non-profit organization) keeping the very transient Queenstown wine professionals networking, organising once a month tastings and utilises her wine samples.
Candice believes in education; she is currently pursuing WSET Diploma certificate under the guidance of Jane Skilton MW. Her overall goal is to inspire hospitality workers to value and improve their skills, and help consumers to make more informed choices at all price ranges.
Candice started Candice Wine Chat in late 2019, and offers wine list consultation services, staff training to restaurants and cellar doors; organises wine tasting/ education events to wine lovers and enthusiasts. She is also available for private tutorials.
Candice has always been a fan of Raymond Chan Wine Reviews; she learnt that Raymond passed away in February 2019, it was a massive loss to the industry, she thought to herself, ” I wish someone would pick up the website and keep writing the same way that Raymond did.”. In December 2019, while Candice visited Martinborough, she happened to bring this up in a conversation with friends of Raymond. “Why don’t you do it?” they said. Then with some encouragement and an introduction to Sue Davies, things came together. Raymond’s legacy lives on, along with over 10,000 wine reviews Raymond accumulated, available to you, free to access.
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