How Australia’s best sommelier pairs travel with her palate

by Saturday, January 26, 2019

Interview with Emma Farrelly: “Italy would have to be my favourite country. I’ve been a couple of times and I always absolutely love it. (My father has an Italian background so it’s in the blood!) I think the beauty of Italy is not only the amazing food, wine and culture, but also the diversity. From the cool mountains and lakes in the north to the hot, arid beaches of the south, there are so many unique personalities and perspectives to appreciate.

Emma Farrelly.

Top tip for holidaying in Italy

Just to remember that it’s about the journey not the destination. I know it sounds cliché but I’m sometimes guilty of rushing through things to get them done and tick them off my list. When I’m travelling I always try and remember to stop and smell the roses (or pizza as it is Italy), as much as possible anyway. And also like to EAT. Eat everything. Try all of the food that potentially you would never have at home.

Something she always packs when she travels

I always pack a large scarf or sarong – you can use them for many different purposes so they are a handy thing to have. If I’m travelling away from my boys I always take a picture or note they have given me. It helps me miss them a tiny bit less!

A destination on her bucket list

So, so many places! My current top three would have to be Sicily, Istanbul and Sri Lanka. They intrigue me in different ways, but all three have a rather striking sense of beauty. I also tend to be fairly food-driven when thinking about a travel destination and I’m pretty sure I would be well fed in any of these places…

A travel disaster – or near-miss – which stays in her mind

It’s not so much of a disaster but I was in New Zealand once trying to get to a festival. We had no transport and instead of walking there (it was pretty far!) we managed to hitchhike. At the festival we made friends with the guy running the helicopter tours, so we talked our way into getting a Helicopter ride back to the vineyard we were staying at, so we didn’t have to walk home! It was the perfect combination of poor traveller/rock star!! I also got myself into some hairy situations whilst backpacking with my sister in Cambodia many years ago. But I’m pretty sure we never told our parents that story, so I should probably keep quiet on that one…”

About Emma Farrelly

“Gourmet Traveller” Sommelier of the Year 2019. 

For over 16 years, Emma’s passion for the wine industry has produced award-winning wine lists across top venues in Perth.

As Director of Wine for the State Buildings, Emma’s invaluable insights and industry-wide network enables her to curate unique wine menus for each of the award-winning restaurants at the State Buildings.

For two years, Emma studied under the guidance of Dr Steve Charters, Master of Wine. Since then, Emma has consulted on various wine lists and menus, earning her recognition through numerous awards including Gourmet Traveller Wine and her induction into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2013.

With her finger firmly on the pulse of the wine industry, Emma was recently awarded “Gourmet Traveller” Sommelier of the Year 2019; and selected as a judge for the Young Gun of Wine Awards, South Australia’s Hottest 100, as well as Singapore Airlines Swan Valley Wine Show for 2017.

State Buildings, Cnr St Georges Tce & Barrack St, Perth, (08) 6168 7780.