My writing on wine-pages is all about the wine, and very rarely is it about me! But I am absolutely delighted to announce that I have been awarded the ‘big one’ – the top global prize for wine communication: Wine Communicator of the Year, awarded annually by the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) and Vinitaly. this is the 25th year of this award, the first winner being Jancis Robinson, followed by Hugh Johnson and a list of great names in wine writing and communication.
I am fortunate enough to have won major wine writing prizes before, including the Louis Roederer award and the Portuguese wine industry’s Wine Journalist of the Year, but being presented with the Wine Communicator trophy at a glittering ceremony in Verona last week really was a bit special. The judges gave the award in recognition of my work here on wine-pages, my Festivals of Wine, my YouTube channel, and the work I do writing for magazines or presenting masterclasses and hosting events.
I was presented with the trophy – a beautiful goblet of specially-commissioned Murano glass – by Giovanni Mantovani, the general director of Veronafiere, organisers of VinItaly, Italy’s annual trade fair.
Asked to comment, I told the 600-strong audience: “This is a tremendous honour. Like a lot people in the world of wine, it was a passion for the subject that steered me towards a career in wine. Sharing that passion through my writing and broadcasting rarely feels like work, and is always a pleasure. Nevertheless, it is so gratifying to be chosen to receive this truly international honour, which is proof that I must be doing something right!”
Indeed reading the words of the judging panel afterwards was humbling: “Tom is the consummate professional and was a clear winner, with 23 years of wine passion that is clearly as relevant and well communicated today.” Host of television’s ‘The Wine Show’, Joe Fattorini, said this accolade is “a long overdue honour for one of the country’s best, most modest communicators.” The judging panel of senior figures from the wine industry also revealed that despite a high quality international shortlist, I was “the unanimous choice,” which made the award even more significant for me.
There is a full report on the award on the IWSC’s web site, but of course in true ‘Oscars’ fashion, I do have people to thank, starting of course, with you. The readership of wine-pages over the 23 years I have been publishing it, is what has sustained me and my career, and the truth is: I couldn’t have done it without you.
If you are coming along to any of my Festivals of Wine this year, do please say hello and hopefully I can communicate effectively in return 🙂