John Radford, writer, broadcaster and Spanish wine specialist, died on 19 October aged 65.
Radford was co-chair of Spain for the Decanter World Wine Awards since its inception and a longstanding Decanter contributor.
He started out in wine retail at Vintage Wines in Nottingham, and soon discovered that he had a gift as a wine educator and communicator. He spent 13 years as a presenter on BBC local radio, while building his reputation as an expert on the wines of Spain.
‘John had a real love for Spain,’ said Maria Jose Sevilla, Director of Food and Wine from Spain. ‘It is incredible how many people in Spain were devoted to him.’
In 1998 his first book, The New Spain, won the Glenfiddich and Lanson awards. He followed this up with The Wines of Rioja and Cook Espana, Drink Espana (with Mario Sandoval).
Larger than life, sometimes to be seen sporting braces the colour of the Spanish flag, Radford was also a great raconteur. Earer this year he was made a member of the Cofradia del Vino de la Ribera del Duero and in 1996 was elected to the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino.
Nick Room, Chairman of the Orden, said: ‘John did a great deal for the Spanish wine trade, and was widely respected for his encyclopaedic knowledge. He will be much missed.’
And his desert island wine? When asked by Decanter to name it, he chose Amontillado.
Written by Sarah Jane Evans MW