Thirsty Dragon, the book examining the rapid emergence of China on the fine wine scene and its particular relationship with Bordeaux, has won the drinks book prize at this year’s André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards.


Written by wine writer and Bordeaux resident Suzanne Mustacich, Thirsty Dragon uses figures and interviews to cover the rise of China’s fine wine market and then the impact of austerity.

Mustacich, who works for Wine Spectator in Bordeaux, delves into particular detail about the relationships between Bordeaux châteaux and merchants, and Chinese buyers.

‘Thirsty Dragon was a truly fascinating and dramatic read,’ said Mimi Avery, the assesor for the drinks book category.

Andre Simon Food and Drink book awards

The shortlisted drink books: Thirsy Dragon, Madeira, Soda Politics, The History of Wine in 100 Bottles.

Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent and contributing editor, Jane Anson, said Thirsty Dragon would make ‘uncomfortable reading’ for Bordeaux châteaux owners.

Other nominees for the book category included Decanter contributors Richard Mayson, for his book Madeira, and Oz Clarke for The History of Wine in 100 Bottles.

Last year, Decanter contributor Wink Lorch won the drinks award for her crowd-funded book, Jura Wine.

The awards took place at the Goring Hotel in London, on Thursday 28 January.

Winners in the food category included celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for Everyday Super Food, winning the John Avery Award; named for the late Bristol wine merchant, Master of Wine and former Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair for South Africa.

Food blogger Rachel Roddy claimed the prize for food writing for her debut publication Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome, and a Special Commendation went to Bee Wilson’s First Bite.

Winners of the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards each receive £2000, the Special Commendation and the John Avery award is worth £1500 and shortlisted authors each receive £200.