Mike Bennie

When Mike Bennie isn’t wandering vineyards on the four corners of the globe, he is a freelance wine and drinks writer, journalist and presenter. A lot of his work appears in the highly regarded publication Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, he is wine/drinks editor for delicious. magazine, and Editor-At-Large for WineFront.com.au. Mike is an active wine judge in Australia and overseas, and a graduate of the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial. He is prolific with his wine work, is a regular presenter at corporate and industry events, and between travels to exotic vineyards around the world, enjoys long walks on the beach with a bottle of wine (or sour beer) in his hand.

Mike's Top Picks

Top food and wine Destination: Tokyo
Best Festival: Root Stock Sydney
What I’d spend my last 5 bucks on: Cold Green Tea
Best Hang Over Cure: Larger from a can drunk at freezing point
Best thing I’ve drunk lately: Garage project sour Ale

What’s the most common misconception about wine?

White wine with white meat, red wine with red meat. Wine matching is personal, but it’s also about letting a fermented drink be the final condiment to your meal. Or about refreshing your palate. Or about crushing your thirst. I also think that culturally we’ve been forced into a hierarchy of drinking where red wine is seen as more serious than white wine, when for the most part I think the other way around. I also like to challenge the status quo of wines’ pathway through an evening, where we start with fizzy wine, then to light whites, into medium bodied whites, to full bodied whites, to rose, to light bodied reds, medium then fuller bodied reds. Jump around, I say. There are no rules. 


Mikes fav spirit recipe | Vermouth in the rocks


  • Vermouth
  • Ice
  •  Lime & Orange peel lustily tested


  1. Add ingredients to a short ball glass I order listed above.
  2. Stir with finger

Mike's Festival - Rootstock Sydney

About Root Stock

Rootstock Sydney is a unique, collaborative not-for-profit sustainable food and wine festival.It is a place where winemakers, grape growers, chefs, sommeliers, writers, artists, thinkers (and most importantly drinkers!) can all come together to share with one another. 

Started by Giorgio De Maria, Mike Bennie, James Hird, Linda Wiss and Matt Young in 2013, this year will see the third incarnation of the Rootstock Sydney festival. We will continue to push a sustainable agenda and to celebrate the people behind the produce. We are also very excited to be presenting many new additions (but not SO2!) to the festival program this year.

Mikes Top 3 tips for entertaining

Make a boozy punch as a welcome drink. Share food.Consider your lighting.

Mikes Top 3 tips for choosing wine at a restaurant

Step outside of your comfort zone and try something different. Get the sommelier to help you out; discuss style, not varieties. Treat yourself to something special. 

Mikes Favourite Wine shop in Australia

It’s a splash of nepotism as it’s my alma mater, but Best Cellars in East Sydney. Fine wine, avant garde wine, and a notion that wine should always be fun.

Natural wines are so expressive, individual and don’t play by the rules
— Mike Bennie

Mike's Favourite Bar in the World - Mac’s Clube Deuce bar, South Beach, Miami


Mike's Favourite Local
The Courthouse Hotel, Newtown

Twisties go superbly with high end Chablis
— Mike Bennie

Mikes Fav Restaurant
L'Avant Comptoire

I want to drink like I eat
— Mike Bennie