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The Masters of Wine Dinner: Kumeu River X Blank Canvas

Kumeu River X Blank Canvas X Hilton Auckland Winemakers' Dinner

Featuring two amazing wineries and three Masters of Wine. Matched to a menu by a highly acclaimed chef. Get ready for an evening that is sure to delight every food and wine lover.

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

New Zealand is home to 16 Masters of Wine (out of 418 in the world), each making their own unique contribution to the world of wine. This June, Des Harris and his team at Hilton Auckland are excited to host three Masters of Wine (MW) - New Zealand’s first MW, Michael Brajkovich of Kumeu River, our newest MW, Sophie Parker-Thomson of Blank Canvas, along with Paul Tudor MW as the MC for the evening.

Your delectable evening begins with a welcome reception at Bellini Bar, with snacks by Chef Des Harris (Culinary Director at Hilton, ex-Clooney) and live entertainment as you enjoy a glass of sparkling wine. A four course dinner awaits, with each course matched to an impressive selection of 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.

Most 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 in 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 us 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 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.



On Arrival

Live Opera

Kumeu River Crémant paired with Canapés


Burrata, persimmon, butternut gelee

2020 Blank Canvas Abstract Sauvignon & 2020 Kumeu River Pinot Gris


Hapuka, creamed farro, macadamia

2020 Blank Canvas Reed V Chardonnay & 2021 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay


Confit suckling pig, NZ Périgord truffle

2018 Blank Canvas Anthem Pinot Noir & 2020 Kumeu River Hunting Hill Pinot Noir


Frozen pineapple curd, kaffir lime

2018 Blank Canvas Meta Riesling

Don't miss out on this very special evening, tickets are now on sale!


The Masters of Wine Dinner

Friday, 17 June 2022, 6pm

Hilton Auckland - Bellini Bar & FISH

$195 per person - snacks, four course dinner and eight wines matched

Got any questions? Please email

Image source/s: Blank Canvas, Real Review, Kumeu River, Paul Tudor, Hilton Auckland


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