Yvonne Lorkin started adult life in the rock n roll business, but a major life disruption followed by unplanned motherhood forced a new direction that’s catapulted her into a career in one of life’s greatest pleasures. Wine.
In 2015 Yvonne became the co-founder and Chief Tasting Officer of WineFriend.co.nz, a revolutionary new, tech-based wine business that’s completely disrupted traditional wine retailing. Her team custom-built a platform which personalises wine choices for their now thousands of subscribers, who are looking for taste sensations beyond boring supermarket selections.
Yvonne is an in-demand radio and television commentator and has been an afternoon wine correspondent on Radio NZ National since 2010. She’s a regular guest on TV3’s A.M. Show with Duncan Garner, and she also produced and presented a great little wine TV show called Thirsty Work.
Yvonne is the Drinks Editor for dish Magazine and is the Wine Writer for NZ Herald’s Canvas Magazine. She’s also the wine writer for Living Hawke’s Bay Magazine and the Hawke’s Bay App. From 2004 - 2019 she was the weekly syndicated wine writer across ten NZME Regional newspapers and is also a highly experienced, senior wine competition judge.
Combined, the readership and viewership figures of her magazine and newspaper columns and her regular radio and television appearances amount to hundreds of thousands of people weekly. This means she’s the most widely circulated and widely visible wine commentator in the country.
"Yvonne is absolutely awesome! I have had a long association with Yvonne on several different projects. She's been the MC and manager of the demonstration kitchen at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Show ... keep reading, committee member and judge for the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards and MC for the Hawke’s Bay Cellar Door of the year challenge. Yvonne understands the events she works on, prepares in advance and is happy to meet and discuss prior to the event. She has a sense of humour, is easy going and is fun to work with. I would definitely recommend Yvonne to host, MC or speak at any event and would not hesitate in using Yvonne for any future events." Hawke’s Bay A&P Society
“Yvonne was a natural choice to MC at The Lewisham Awards held at The Langham Hotel in Auckland. With Yvonne’s knowledge of the industry, wonderful humour and commanding presence, she was the right person to reign in the 700 Hospitality guests. I wouldn’t hesitate in asking Yvonne to MC any event in the future”.
“Yvonne MC’d the 2017 Edible Fashion Awards and captured our audience with her endearing mix of class and girl-next-door relatability. Thrown in the deep end from the outset, Yvonne performed under pressure and held the event together with professionalism and unflappable charisma. As an event organizer, I would work with her again in a heartbeat.”
"I wish to thank you for your excellent presentation at the New Zealand International Wine Show Awards Dinner. Your summary of the competition judging and the events that took place was entertaining and very professional. Your talk was spot on in respect of the age group in attendance and the audience really appreciated the information you provided. You set the scene for a very successful evening. So many thanks Yvonne, we must get you back at the Awards evening on a future occasion."
"Once again thank you so much for your fabulous and energetic presentation at Aspire2016. You are wonderfully engaging and your messages (and challenges) around finding our niche and forging our own pathway as a region was right on message. Thanks for being part of Aspire…I’ll look forward to following you on social media!"
“Yvonne worked with us at a major wine showcase event during Auckland Restaurant Month and was an absolute delight to work with. Knowledgeable and fun, she was a hit with everyone who attended her workshops and we look forward to working with Yvonne again in the future.”
"We are an Event Management Company (Gameplan NZ Ltd) based in Hawke’s Bay and we've worked with Yvonne in various capacities over many years. I have always found Yvonne very easy to deal with; from initial contact to completion of event. She is very thorough and professional in the handling of her responsibilities - and on the odd occasion where we've had to change format or timelines (this happens from time to time) Yvonne has remained calm and carried the changes with humour and without any drama. She is a combination of seriousness and hilarity ... but always entertaining. We recommend her and assure you that she will give you 100% professionalism."
"Yvonne hosted the Vintners Lunch during the Sunshine and a Plate Food Festival 2017 in Whakatane. From first meeting, Yvonne was warm and welcoming and made herself known to all guests attending, with a handshake and established common ground with guests very quickly. Her style was open and down to earth with her storytelling style showing her humorous view of life, very quickly she held the attention of all present. Extensive wine knowledge was shared in layman’s terms and in a manner befitting a long Sunday lunch.
I just wanted to touch base and say how much I enjoyed last night’s Bubbles & Inspiration talk in Carterton. You’re a terrific speaker and your messaging was really powerful, so thanks. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve signed up to WineFriend and look forward to my first delivery later this month.