Michael Schuster studied wine tasting in Bordeaux where he gained the University Tasting Diploma. After creating an award-winning retail business in the early 1980s, he went on to work independently as a wine writer and lecturer and now runs his own wine school at Bordeaux Index, in Hatton Garden, North London. He lectures to both amateurs and professionals throughout the UK and abroad. He is on The Wine Society's management committee and was elected a member of the Academie Internationale du Vin in 2002. His books include a translation of Emile Peynaud's Le Goût du Vin, Understanding Wine and the award-winning Essential Winetasting. He writes regularly for The World of Fine Wine, and occasionally for Decanter. 'The Decanter World Wine Awards will give the opportunity to help highlight quality and value for money in a region whose wines can give enormous pleasure, but where reliable buys, especially in red wines, are neither easy nor regularly perceived as good value for money.'