The faces of BBX: Ben Chan


You might think that BBX is all about hard data, facts and figures. But behind our industry-leading fine wine exchange, there’s a team of passionate wine experts. Each is dedicated to helping people manage their cellars and, ultimately, drink better. Here, we meet Ben Chan, Senior BBX Wine Specialist. 

Ben joined our BBX team last year, bringing with him many years of varied experience in wine. He started out in retail while studying oenology before moving into winemaking and harvest work – across his native Australia as well as Austria and Chablis, France.

Most of my winemaking experience was at Philip Shaw Wines in the cool-climate region of Orange, New South Wales. Philip was a great mentor, and we made elegant wines from international grape varieties.

Whilst I enjoy most wine styles, I think white wines can really express themselves. I saw this firsthand at Skillogalee in the Clare Valley, Château de Béru in Chablis and Salomon Undhof in Kremstal, Austria. I find Grüner Veltliner particularly interesting as it can be made in various styles, from light and fresh to powerful and hedonistic.”

After relocating to the UK, Ben worked as a sommelier at Michelin-starred restaurant Hakkasan in Mayfair.

My time working the floor at Hakkasan gave me a crash course in the world of fine wine. I quickly learnt that while I knew how to make wine, there were so many global producers that I needed to know. I was lucky to be able to taste many of the classics.”

Ben then moved into wine education as a leader examiner at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). He is also a wine judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge. If that weren’t quite enough, he is currently working on his research paper for the final stage of the Master of Wine (MW) qualification. But education doesn’t stop in the classroom or the exam hall: Ben fondly recalls visiting some of the world’s great winemakers.

Promontory in the Napa Valley was one winery visit that has left a lasting impression on me. The vineyard is high up in a secluded forest, and the cellar could be considered a work of art. The Harlan family’s dedication and precision were clear to see – and showed in the wines. It is truly a special place.

Then there’s Gaja in Piedmont. I visited in spring and the vineyard was full of life. It was great to see them using cover crops and beneficial insects and birds instead of chemicals. This is better for both the vineyard workers and the planet. And their Barbaresco is sensational.

And I won’t forget Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos in the Douro Valley. After a long day of visits and MW-student masterclasses, it doesn’t get much better than sipping on white Port and tonic at sunset.”

Ben and the rest of our team draw upon their knowledge and experience to assist our customers with managing their cellars and BBX listings. If you have any questions or would like a valuation of your cellar, please don’t hesitate to email us at