I am delighted to announce that one of our Champagne writers, Michael Edwards has won the prestigious Louis Roederer award for International Wine Book 2010 for his recent book The Finest Wines of Champagne.
Among the panel of six judges was Tom Stevenson, renowned Champagne expert and the original writer of our three Champagne guides. Michael’s book was one of a shortlist of four books, all strong contenders for the award. The others shortlisted were, from the same publisher, The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy by Nick Belfrage MW; What Price Bordeaux by Benjamin Lewin MW; and The Great Domaines of Burgundy by Remington Norman MW and Charles Taylor MW. Chairman of the judges, Charles Metcalfe introduced the awards which were presented by the head of Champagne Louis Roederer, Frédéric Rouzaud.
Michael used to be a hotel inspector, making him possibly our best reviewer of Places to Stay and Eat, but for the past 20 years he has focussed on wine writing, and as one of the judges said to me: “we chose him because, quite simply, he writes like a dream.” The book is an in depth study of the region, the wine and in particular the Champagne producers, with around 100 profiles that include a mix of the famous names, as one would expect, along with some excellent smaller Champagne growers that Michael recommends. A few of these featured in the latest updates of our travel guides earlier this year. We are, frankly, honoured that Michael makes the time to write for us.
Brett and I were very privileged to attend the Louis Roederer Wine Writers’ Awards ceremony at the top (39th and 40th floors) of London’s ‘Gherkin’ building in the city where we were treated not only to a splendid view of London, but also a taste of the very young, newly launched Louis Roederer Cristal 2004, along with copious amounts of their always delicious Brut Premier.
I had actually entered the competition, submitting the Wine Travel Guides website into the category for International Wine Website – I was, however up against some formidable competition with the shortlist being Tom Cannavan for wine-pages.com, Jamie Goode for wineanorak.com, Gabriella Opaz for catavino.net (for whom I promised to collect the award if she had won) and the eventual winner, Jancis Robinson for jancisrobinson.com whose website has undergone a re-vamp in the past year and is one of the most successful part-subscription websites in the world of wine.
The other winner I particularly want to mention is Simon Woods as International Online wine columnist/blogger for articles from simonwoods.com – extremely well deserved by Simon. He provides interesting and witty short posts, regular videos and much more on his site, having really grasped the online potential and how to communicate in a really direct, yet educational manner with wine consumers online. I commend his site to you!
Finally, I want to mention the World of Fine Wine, a quarterly magazine, perfect for those of you who enjoy in-depth wine writing. They won the award for Wine Publication of the Year and also happen to be behind the publication of Michael’s book.
You can read the complete list of the Louis Roederer 2010 International Wine Writers’ Awards and no doubt soon see the photos from the enjoyable prize-giving evening, and launch of Cristal 2004, on their dedicated competition website. Thank you to Louis Roederer for supporting these awards and giving us such a great party for the presentation. And, thank you and congratulations to Michael for being such a diligent Champagne writer!
I predict that a future Louis Roederer award-winner could be our new Wine Travel Guides writer, Tom Fiorina, who has written our two new, quite amazing in-depth guides to wine travel in Corsica. More from him soon!