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Stars reunite for 30 years of Decanter Man of the Year award

Decanter managing editor Amy Wislocki reports on a special dinner held in London last night to mark the 30th anniversary of the Decanter Man of the Year award.

Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014
Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014 Decanter Man of the Year anniversary dinner 2014

It was a very special evening. The brainchild of Serge Hochar, the very first Decanter Man of the Year, in 1984 – a dinner to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the award. Ten recipients gathered at one table, the atmosphere relaxed as they were greeted by a glass of Champagne Roederer Rosé 2007 and a small table set for dinner, against a backdrop of Parliament Square, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Gathered at The President's Suite, 12 Great George Street on Thursday 23rd January, guests enjoyed a menu created by Steve Groves, head chef of Roux at Parliament Square. Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp thanked Serge Hochar for his hospitality, and paid tribute to him and all subsequent recipients of the award, some of whom sent wines to be shared, even though they could not be present in person.

Present for the evening included recipients Gerard Basset MW,MS (2013), Miguel Torres (2002), Serge Hochar (1984), Marchese Piero Antinori (1986), Hugh Johnson (1995), Michael Broadbent (1993), Ernst Loosen (2005), Angelo Gaja (1998), Paul Symington (2012), Jean-Michel Cazes (2003) and May Eliane de Lencquessaing (1994).

‘Serge Hochar laid the foundation for the Decanter Man of the Year award,’ said Sarah Kemp. ‘The award is not only about wonderful winemakers, but about recognising people who make a difference – people whom we admire and who reflect what we at Decanter stand for.'

'All the recipients have been people of integrity, people who operate in the world of fine wine but who want to share their knowledge and have a generosity of spirit. We have people here tonight from across the globe, reflecting the international world of wine, and celebrating the great wines made both in classic regions and in new regions of the wine world.’

Serge Hochar shared his memories of receiving the award, 30 years ago: ‘I never imagined it would become such an institution,’ he said, as guests enjoyed a trio of older Musar vintages.

Michael Broadbent, recently retired as Decanter’s longest standing columnist, stood to add an impromptu tribute to the marvellous occasion, and to all those present, and absent, who had kindly shared their wines. As guests departed, there was a strong sense that a very special occasion had taken place.

Menu & wines:
 - Champagne Roederer Rosé 2007.
 - Crab, scallop and prawn tart, butter sauce, with Catena Zapata White Bones Chardonnay 2010 and Gaja Gaia & Rey 1998.
 - Roast breast of Goosnargh duck, spiced pear, almond, chicory, with Château Lynch-Bages 2000 and Ridge, Monte Bello 1992.
 - Selection of French and English cheeses, with Chateau Musar red 1995 and 1972, and Chateau Musar white 1969.
- Graham’s Vintage Port 1966

Click to see more pictures from the 30th anniversary dinner

Decanter Man of the Year recipients:
2013 Gerard Basset MW, MS, MBA, OBE
2012 Paul Symington
2011 Giacomo Tachis
2010 Aubert de Villaine
2009 Nicolás Catena
2008 Christian Moueix
2007 Anthony Barton
2006 Marcel Guigal
2005 Ernst Loosen
2004 Brian Croser
2003 Jean-Michel Cazes
2002 Miguel Torres
2001 Jean-Claude Rouzaud
2000 Paul Draper
1999 Jancis Robinson MW OBE
1998 Angelo Gaja
1997 Len Evans OBE AO
1996 Georg Riedel
1995 Hugh Johnson OBE
1994 May-Elianede Lencquesaing
1993 Michael Broadbent
1992 André Tchelistcheff
1991José Ignacio Domecq
1990 Prof Emile Peynaud
1989 Robert Mondavi
1988 Max Schubert
1987 Alexis Lichine
1986 Marchese Piero Antinori
1985 Laura & Corinne Mentzelopoulos
1984 Serge Hochar

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