Warilla mum Nicole Goodyer loves champagne so much she refers to it as a "holiday in a bottle".
Goodyer's bubbly passion may lead to her biggest holiday yet, having been named as one of six finalists in the amateur category of the Vin de Champagne Awards.
The biannual awards celebrate and encourage the enjoyment of champagne in Australia.
They include a professional category for people who gain income from the food and wine industry; and an amateur category for tasters with a passion for champagne.
"To receive the phone call to say you're one of the top amateurs in Australia, even though it's thrilling, I'm very nervous about going," Goodyer says.
Winners of the sections, to be announced in Sydney on September 26, will receive a two-week educational tour to the Champagne district in France.
Goodyer's passion for champagne emerged in 2004 when her daughter started kindergarten.
"One of the mothers suggested we have regular catch-ups and have some champagne, so a little champagne appreciation club was formed," Goodyer explains.
Her friends in the "social champagne network" have also developed an appreciation of the drink and have established a "slush fund" with the aim to undertake a group tour of Champagne by the time their children turn 18.
Goodyer, who works as a florist and left behind a corporate job in London years ago, wanted to know more about the origins of the sparkling wine and found herself researching and familiarising the different tastes.
She now has a remarkable "taste memory" of 142 champagnes.
To build on her knowledge, Goodyer also travels to Sydney for champagne masterclasses and would like to be involved one day in setting up masterclasses in the Illawarra.
Unfazed by not gaining a place in the finals of the 2010 Vin de Champagne Awards, Goodyer entered again this year after more late nights researching and writing essays regarding champagne viticulture, history and tasting memory.
Contestants also have to match champagnes to a six-course meal and explain the selections.
"As people, we all have different personalities and it's the same with champagne," Goodyer explains.
Final judging for the awards also includes facing a panel of experts and blind-tasting a selection of three wines. Judges include Huon Hooke, wine writer Peter Bourne and champagne educator Bernadette O'Shea.
Regardless of the result from the awards, Goodyer is looking forward to spreading the word on the story behind the French tradition.
"There's always champagne in my house. I have a bar fridge in the corner of my office and it's called my 'happy corner'.
"When I have a champagne, it's a half-hour to myself to savour it - it's like a holiday in a bottle."