Meet the 2018 judging panel
Joining Chairman Peter Richards MW on the 2018 judging panel will be wine industry consultant and former Marks & Spencer wine buyer Andy Howard MW, freelance wine writer Matt Walls, food and wine writer Fiona Beckett, and Decanter’s International Tastings Director Christelle Guibert.
Peter Richards MW, Chairman
Wine Writer and Presenter on BBC1’s Saturday Night Kitchen
Peter is a Master of Wine and presenter on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen.
A familiar presence from his wide-ranging work, Peter has won many awards and his credits include Sky One, ESPN, The Guardian, ITV1, Radio 4, Times Online and BBC2.
Peter is a regular Decanter contributor as well as Chairman of the Retailer Awards, and Regional Chair for Chile at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
International Tastings Director, Decanter
Christelle is Decanter’s International Tastings Director. She is in charge of coordinating Decanter’s monthly panel tastings, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) and the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA), and gives regular recommendations of her own
Christelle has worked in the wine trade all her professional life. Brought up in the Loire Valley, she gained experience in the region’s vineyards and wineries before moving to London. Following stints in the wine department at Harrods, she joined the Waitrose wine buying team in 2007.
In addition to her day job, she tends one hectare of Melon de Bourgogne in Muscadet where she produces 2000 bottles a year of Terre de Gneiss, her first wine.
Andy Howard MW
Decanter contributor and wine writer
Andy Howard MW became a MW in 2011 and runs his own consultancy business (Vinetrades Ltd) which focuses on education, judging, investment and sourcing.
Howard previously worked for Marks & Spencer as a buyer for over 30 years and was responsible as wine buyer for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, Italy, North and South America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry.
Although his key areas of expertise are Burgundy and Italy he also has great respect for the wines of South America and South Africa, as well as a keen interest in the wines from South West France (he owns a house in Gaillac where he made wine for six vintages).
Howard is a frequent contributor to Decanter and writes a regular column on the UK wine retail trade for JancisRobinson.com.
Food and wine writer, matchingfoodandwine.com
Fiona Beckett writes Decanter’s regular features on food and wine matching and runs the website www.matchingfoodandwine.com, which also includes pairings with beer, cocktails and other drinks.
An award-winning journalist, Beckett has written regularly for many of the UK’s leading newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.
In 2002, she was nominated for The Food Journalist of The Year Award by the UK Guild of Food Writers.
Beckett has written 15 books about food and wine, including How to Match Food and Wine, Cooking with Wine and Wine by Style.
Freelance wine writer
Matt Walls is an award-winning freelance wine writer, author, blogger and consultant contributing regular articles to Decanter, Foodism, timatkin.com, Harpers Wine & Spirit, Imbibe and others. He publishes wine blog mattwalls.co.uk, for which he was named the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year. His first book on wine, Drink Me, won Best Newcomer at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. In addition to writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings, trains staff and judges at food and wine competitions. He was previously fine wines manager at Mentzendorff and set up, managed and bought wines for the flagship store of The Sampler.