Find out about our Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 Chile & Brazil judging panel with biographies of the Regional Chair Peter Richards MW plus Andy Howard MW, Claudio Martins, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, Héctor Riquelme, Jane Parkinson, Jo Ahearne MW, Martin Lam, Paolo Brammer, Susan Hulme MW and Terry Threlfall.
Regional chair: Peter Richards MW
Richards is a presenter on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and a regular contributor to Decanter. He is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, whose credits include The Times Online, The Guardian, Sky One, ESPN, ITV1, Radio 4 and BBC2. He has written two books, The Wines of Chile and Chile Wine Brief, which have earned him the title of ‘the world’s leading commentator on Chilean wine’. He runs a wine school with his wife Susie Barrie MW and is launching Wine Festival Winchester in November 2014.
Andy Howard MW
Andy Howard MW has over 30 years’ experience as a buyer at Marks & Spencer. Within the wine category he was responsible for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Italy, North and South America, South Africa, Portugal, England, Port & Sherry. Howard became a MW in September 2011, following his MW dissertation on the UK wine trade’s attitude to Premier Cru Chablis. His key areas of expertise are Burgundy and Bordeaux but, from his buying experience, he has a great respect for the wines of Chile, Argentina and South Africa. Howard lives in London but also has a house in Gaillac, where he made wine for 6 vintages. Closer to home, he has chaired the judging at the annual SEVA awards for the past 7 years. Howard left M&S in 2013 to focus on consultancy through his new business – Vinetrades.
After successfully managing New Street Wine Shop in London for a number of years, Claudio Martins was recently appointed wine director at Montevino Partners, a fine wine investment company. Martins grew up in the Dao region of Portugal, surrounded by vineyards and spending the school holidays helping the local producers with the harvest. In return, he received a few Escudos but a wealth of knowledge about turning the humble grape into such a blissful drink. Martins’ approach to wine is that it should be kept simple, fun and available so that all can enjoy it. He specialises in Portuguese wines and strongly believes that Portugal has much to offer both as a wine region and for the impressive quality of its wines.
Dirceu Vianna Junior MW
Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, aka Junior, is originally from Brazil, where he studied forest engineering and law before moving to London in 1989 and joining the wine trade the following year. In 2008, Junior became the first South American male Master of Wine, and received Viña Errazuriz Award for excellence in the business of wine paper. Junior is the wine director for Coe Group in the UK, and is also a wine educator, technical consultant, freelance writer and wine judge, as well as speaking at several wine events around the world and making appearances on South American radio and television.
Héctor Riquelme has been involved in the fine dining industry for 16 years. He consults on wine to a number of hotels, restaurants and wineries, runs his own website, www.elcavista.com, and writes articles for various wine and food magazines, including Chile’s El Mercurio, for which he is a judge for their ‘Innovative Wines’ special report. Named Best Sommelier of Chile from 2005 to 2008, Riquelme was consultant sommelier to Descorchados, an Argentine, Uruguayan and Chilean wine guide, for over ten years.
Jane Parkinson is an award-winning wine writer and communicator. Working freelance, she’s a wine expert for BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live, wine editor-at-large of Restaurant magazine, the wine expert for Stylist magazine, wine reviewer for 60 Second Reviews and is releasing her debut book, Wine & Food, this autumn. Parkinson is the IWSC Communicator of the Year 2014 and is a member of The Wine Gang, a group of five experts who host consumer fairs and review wines each month on thewinegang.com. She hosts tastings at consumer fairs such as the BBC Good Food Show and the Ideal Home Show, as well as privately for restaurants and wine merchants. Parkinson also has her own website janeparkinson.com, on which she posts her published features, recommends wines, and writes restaurant reviews.
Jo Ahearne MW
Jo Ahearne MW first worked in the wine trade in the early 1990s at Oddbins, and after two years she went to Australia to work a vintage for Charles Melton, with his Nine Popes and Rose of Virginia wines. While in the Barossa Valley, she decided to sell her house and belongings and enrol in a winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University in Australia, whilst also working at Pipers Brook, Bailey’s of Glenrowan, Leasingham and Tintara wineries. Following this, Ahearne worked as a flying winemaker in Spain and France, was assistant winemaker at Charles Melton, spent four years making Jacob’s Creek, and spent time in Fitou in the Languedoc. In 2004, Ahearne moved back to the UK to blend wines for Marks & Spencer, before a stint as wine and spirits buyer for Harrods. She now works as a winemaking consultant in France, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Macedonia.
Martin Lam opened Le Caprice in 1981 with Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, where he worked as head chef before becoming L’Escargot’s Head Chef in 1982. In 1992, he and his wife set up Ransome’s Dock, a London restaurant renowned to the international wine trade, and winner of numerous awards including: the AA Best Wine List 2009, England & Overall; Portuguese Wine Awards 2010 Restaurant of the Year, and Harpers Wine & Spirit European Wine Restaurant of the Year 2010. Lam was chef-proprietor at Ransome’s Dock until it closed in 2013. He is currently a mentor of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, a member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, a regular judge at international wine competitions and trade events, and also consults on wine, food and restaurants.
Starting his wine career twelve years ago at Bank Aldwych and Just Saint James as head of bars, Paulo Brammer then became head sommelier for the three Michelin-starred Pourcel brothers at W’Sens. In 2008, he made the move out of fine dining to take on a new challenge as group wine buyer at ETM Group, where he designs the wine lists for ten very different sites and also travels to the Languedoc each year to blend ETM Group’s house wines. Brammer is now running a wine and spirits academy, Eno Cultura, in his native Brazil, which provide and certify WSET Levels 1, 2 and 3 along with bespoke courses and consultancy work both in UK and Brazil.
Susan Hulme MW
Susan Hulme MW runs Vintuition, her own wine education and consultancy company, based in Windsor, which provides wine-related training and courses for both the trade and members of the public. A major part of her work is running in-house training and WSET exams for sales executives at some of the leading on-trade and retail wine companies. Hulme is a regular judge at the DWWA, a contributor at Decanter tasting panels, and a panel judge at the International Wine Competition. She is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers, a former chairman of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) and the current editor of the AWE newsletter. Since 2007 she has been on the Institute of Masters of Wine events committee. Hulme became a Master of Wine in 2005, winning the Madame Bollinger tasting medal for outstanding performance in the tasting exam.
Terry Threlfall has been involved in the fine dining industry for 22 years, leaving his native Vancouver 11 years ago to pursue his passion for wine in London – although he returned annually to Vancouver as acting sommelier and wine advisor to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, one of the world’s largest consumer-based wine festivals. In London, he was head sommelier at Richard Corrigan’s Lindsay House before joining Chez Bruce in 2004 as head sommelier and wine buyer, a position he held until 2010. At this time, Threlfall returned permanently to Vancouver to assume the role of wine director at the Hotel Georgia’s Hawksworth Restaurant, one of Canada’s most highly anticipated restaurant openings. Today, Threlfall owns Clos Fine Wines and continues to consult on fine wine and to restaurants in Canada and the UK.
Written by John Abbott