About Me


 Hi, I’m Nicole and I’m so pleased you stopped by.

I am a Melbourne-based wine, food and travel writer. My day-job is in the wine industry and I hold a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma – the precursor qualification to the Master of Wine. I recently became a WSET Certified Educator and one of my favourite ways to spend an evening is delving into the mysteries of wine with a group of wine enthusiasts.

A viewing of my LinkedIn profile will reveal that I am very familiar with the career mobility that is becoming the hallmark of my generation. I have worked as a Pharmacist, a professional Actor and in various roles in the wine industry – training, hospitality, retail and sales. It is not unusual for me to do most of the above at the same time. I believe in chasing your dreams and that expectations can always be exceeded.

If you haven’t guessed so far, I love wine. I certainly wasn’t born into this world though. My father doesn’t drink and my mother   buys her wine from shop-a-dockets. During my first degree, while my mates were smashing through jugs of XXXX (I lived in Brisbane at the time), I was negotiating the perils of uni-pub wine lists. Most of my decisions were made based on label design but I gradually began to identify which grape varieties I liked. After uni, while on a holiday in Melbourne, I decided to visit the Yarra Valley and found my way to a cellar door wine tasting – I was hooked. The next few years saw me basing all my holidays around visiting wine regions. A few years later I found myself back in Melbourne as an auditioning actor. Needing a night job, I stumbled my way into a job making cocktails in a tiki bar – with no experience whatsoever. Pharmacy turned out to provide some solid translatable skills so within a few months I was topping cocktails sales.

My life changed at 3am one Sunday morning. Being a tiki bar, all our drinks were topped with pieces of fresh fruit, which often made their way onto the floor. These bits of fruit would jam the cleaner’s vacuum so during pack-down we would have to pick up half-chewed pieces of pineapple. That morning I remarked wryly that I always thought my life would amount to more than this. One of my colleagues asked me simply “What do you love?”. I replied, without qualification or analysis (unusual for me) “Wine, I love wine”. To which he responded “Just go do wine then, you are in Melbourne!”. By 4am I had returned home, googled “Wine courses Melbourne” and sent off an email to enrol in my first course.

I want more people to enjoy wine. What I hope to create here is some inspiration to try new things. I also want to promote positive attitudes around food. Great food is one of the most achievable simple pleasures in life. There is no such thing as ‘bad’ food and ‘good’ food, especially when the ‘bad’ ones taste  so wonderfully good. My approach is to eat nutrient-rich, healthy, delicious foods most of the time, so that when I want salted caramel surrounded by peanut butter, baked into a cake and dipped in chocolate, I can enjoy every morsel. It’s all about balance.


What you will find here is:

  • Wine talk that I hope will encourage to learn more about wine and explore new and fantastic varieties and types.
  • Uncomplicated, delicious recipes – some full of nutrients and some just gloriously indulgent.
  • Reviews of places I enjoy eating and drinking.



I am a chatter, a communicator, a connector so please hang about and leave a comment when you read my posts. I want to get to know you.


vineyard, australia, melbourne, dew





16 comments on About Me

  1. Michelle
    November 21, 2014 at 4:07 am (3 years ago)

    I’m beyond excited by this whole thing.
    Happy days.
    M x

    • Nicole Bilson
      November 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Aww thank you fabulous woman x

  2. Simone
    February 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Ha! You had me at “salted caramel surrounded by peanut butter baked into a cake and dipped in chocolate”

  3. Jem @ Lost in Utensils
    February 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm (3 years ago)

    So lovely to meet you Nicole! What a diverse background and how wonderful you have gone to the ‘wine’ side. Love your writing style and look forward to following 🙂

  4. Rosie Rockets
    March 4, 2015 at 10:18 am (3 years ago)

    Your blog name is genius! Basically Champagne and Chips are my two weaknesses in life! 🙂 Found your blog via the Blog Society facebook page and I love it!

    • Nicole Bilson
      March 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! Am quite partial to your blog name too. Heading over for a squizz 🙂

  5. Miss Chardy
    March 4, 2015 at 4:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Nicole, wow – this sounds like my kind of blog – champagne and chips, yum and yum, well actually I would prefer a chardy but that’s ok.

    • Nicole Bilson
      March 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm (3 years ago)

      We don’t discriminate here Miss Chardy- all wine is (very) welcome 🙂

  6. Jean Miller
    August 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Nicole… I’m with you on your approach to wine and food! Have you tried some of the big red blends by Dave Phinney of Orin Swift? We have yet to meet a bottle we didn’t like. Sometimes, after the first sip we simply look at each other, shut our eyes, and then shake our heads in disbelief…

    • Nicole Bilson
      August 9, 2015 at 10:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow, they sound incredible. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Orin Swift wines in Australia- do you know if they are imported? I will have to keep an eye out.

  7. Roz Tonkin
    September 25, 2015 at 11:55 am (2 years ago)

    Love your Clever Bechamel Sauce!
    I sell Hackit in my shop so I was intrigued to see your challenge.
    Can’t wait to try it myself.

    • Nicole Bilson
      October 11, 2015 at 9:46 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much for dropping by Roz. I think Hackits will go really well for christmas gifts.

  8. Alexandra Paras
    December 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm (2 years ago)

    I just found your blog today via Woog’s World. I think we may be kindred spirits – so much in common and I just love the way you write and your style (personal and home!).
    Sorry to come on a bit strong but I just had to say, I love what you’ve done here and I’ll be a regular from now on! 🙂

    • Nicole Bilson
      December 6, 2015 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Such lovely words Alexandra, thank you and welcome 🙂
      Do you write a blog too? I would love to check it out. I look forward to getting to know you

  9. naheda hassan
    August 10, 2016 at 4:17 pm (1 year ago)

    Great story and i love strong characters. hope to meet you soon.


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