Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wine Grapes wins the André Simon Memorial Drinks Book Award

Julia Harding MW with Harry Eyres (drinks books' assessor)

2012 Andre Simon Memorial Food and Drink Book Awards:

Wine Grapes wins the 2012 André Simon

The remarkable Wine Grapes (Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, Dr José Vouillamoz published by Penguin Books)  won the 2012 edition of the Andre Simon Memorial Drink Book Award. The winner was announced at a presentation this evening at the Goring Hotel in London's Victoria. Julia Harding MW collected the prize on behalf of the two other members of the triumvirate.  

Harry Eyres

The shortlisted drinks books 

Harry Eyres who was this year's assessor for the wine books, said that in a normal year all of the five short listed books would have been worthy winners.

He described Wine Grapes as an exceptional, groundbreaking work. Not only was it full of information on every page but it is also enjoyable to read. Much of the book's excellence comes from the DNA from José

Harry recalled that some 20 years ago Jancis wrote Vines, Grapes & Wines (published 1986) Wine Grapes 'goes far beyond'.

Of the other short listed books Harry described
Brunello di Montalcino (University of California Press) by Kerin O'Keefe  as a labour of love which is shown by the number of visits and amount tasted. He praised Eric Asimov (How to Love Wine published by William Morrow) for going back to a previous discursive approach, in particular for the chapter on ambiguity in wine - an antidote to the present emphasis on scores.

Neal Martin's Pomerol is a 'remarkable and exuberant book on a Bordeaux region that has only relatively recently come to prominence'. Harry recalled that his wine merchant  father, Philip, had bought two cases of Pétrus 1967 - the best wine of the vintage. Two years ago they had shared the last bottle with his late father wistful that he could have bought 120 bottles rather than 24.

With all the changes in the region Peter Liem and Jésus Barquín's superb book (
Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla published by Manutius) is 'timely with many vineyards grubbed up, famous old names that have completely disappeared and now boutique producers' who have emerged.

 Neal Martin with his team – Susanna Forbes (editor), Tin Brown (the designer), and a trio of Averys: L2R – Mimi, Sarah and Jo

Neal Martin was the first recipient of the John Avery Award for his Pomerol book. The award was presented by John's wife Sarah Avery. John died of a heart attack just a few days after last year's award presentation.

The late John Avery MW at last year's presentation

I was very touched that the whole Avery family were so pleased with the photo I took of John raising a glass last year. It was one of those split second photos that you don't even have time to check the focus or anything else. 

Caroline Conran won the Food Book Award for Sud de France (published by Prospect Books). 

In all there were 20 drink books to assess and a massive 120 food books.


Julian Cotterell (chairman of the Awards) and Caroline Conran winner of the food book award

Caroline Conran receiving her award 

Julian Cotterell

Harry meets Julia

 Averys – Mimi, Sarah and Jo

Kerin O'Keefe and her husband

Kerin through a glass 

Mimi Avery

Sarah Avery

 Alice Wooledge Salmon, wife of Hugo Dunn Meynell who died recently
Hugo was the long time director of the Wine & Food Society founded by André Simon

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