John Stimpfig attended a special birthday party for retired Decanter columnist Michael Broadbent.

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Former Decanter Man of the Year and stalwart columnist and contributor to the magazine, Michael Broadbent celebrated his 90th birthday this week at a special party held at Vintners Hall in London.

Attending the party were friends and family as well as journalists, fellow MWs, merchants and numerous former Christie’s and Decanter colleagues, some of whom had flown in from the US and Europe to attend the celebrations.

As befitted the occasion, there were speeches from Jancis Robinson MW, Bartholomew Broadbent (Michael’s son) and the auctioneer Fritz Hatton who also presented Michael with a bouquet of flowers from the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Remarkably, this was the second consecutive party given by Broadbent. The night before he had hosted and given a dinner at Brooks Private members club.

Michael Broadbent wrote more than 400 columns in Decanter spanning five decades.

spurrier broadbent, christie's

Steven Spurrier and Michael Broadbent catch up on fond memories at a previous event.

In so doing, Broadbent charted the history of the modern wine era as a multi-award winning writer and author.

Yet Broadbent also made history as the head of the Christie’s Wine Department, which he set up in 1966.

A brilliant writer, communicator, educator and taster, Broadbent wrote one of the definitive books on wine tasting. Published in the late 1960s, How To Taste Wine, is still in print and has been translated into eight languages.

His thousands of recorded tasting notes formed both the Vintage Wine Books and the award winning tome Vintage Wine.

The toast to Michael was made with Pol Roger Champagne.

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