Decanter contributors Tom Stevenson and Andrew Jefford each won a prestigious Champagne Louis Roederer Award last night.

Jefford, who writes a bi-monthly column in Decanter as well as regular features, won International Wine Feature Writer of the Year.

Stevenson, who chairs the Champagne panel for the Decanter World Wine Awards and is a regular contributor to the magazine, won International Champagne Writer and Presenter of the Year.

Both awards were given for articles in Decanter and other publications including the Financial Times and the World of Fine Wine.

The Awards were presented at a ceremony, at Somerset House in London, which was notable for being slightly more sumptuous than in previous years.

Magnums of Cristal 1995 were in circulation, together with other wines from Roederer’s portfolio such as Domaine Ott and the second wine of Pichon Lalande.

This was an effort, one guest suggested, to steal a march on the Food & Drink Awards which were cancelled this year when Glenfiddich withdrew its sponsorship.

Other winners included Will Lyons, who was presented with the UK Regional Wine Writer of the Year Award for articles in Scotland on Sunday and Tom Cannavan who won International Online Writer of the Year for his website wine-pages.com.

Accepting his gong – and the effusive congratulations of the shortlisted web mistress Jancis Robinson MW – Cannavan joked, ‘I deserve it, I work bloody hard.’

The most popular winners of the evening were husband-and-wife team Charles Metcalfe and Kathryn McWhirter, who took the International Wine Book of the Year for their much-lauded Wine and Food Lover’s Guide to Portugal.

Decanter contributor Anthony Rose won the inaugural International Wine Columnist of the Year Award, for his columns in the Independent newspaper.

Chairman of the judges Steven Spurrier explained the thinking behind the new columnist award, whose other nominees were Decanter’s Michael Broadbent, and Andrew Jefford.

‘Most wine columns in the national press aren’t really columns but lists of recommendations. We wanted to reward writers who get across some personality and colour in column.’

Rose and fellow winner Tom Cannavan have just set up a new wine recommendations website – www.thewinegang.com – with other national writers Tim Atkin MW, Joanna Simon and Olly Smith, to cater for the various wines they taste every week but don’t have room for in their national newspaper columns.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and Guy Woodward