Decanter is the world’s leading wine media brand with a total monthly reach in excess of 2.2 million via our print, digital and social channels.
Engaging with wine lovers in over 100 countries around the globe, Decanter provides authoritative content, independent advice and inspirational events and competitions.
As the oldest consumer wine publication in the UK, Decanter was founded in London in 1975 following the success of wine columns in British newspapers.
It was the brainchild of Colin Parnell and Tony Lord, two of the most unlikely magazine entrepreneurs Britain has ever seen. Parnell was editing the wine trade magazine Wine & Spirit when he and his deputy, Lord – a young Australian journalist and wine enthusiast – spotted a gap in the market for a wine magazine for consumers.
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Contact The Decanter Team
To contact the Decanter team, all emails follow the format firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 01225 442244
You can also write to us at our London office address: Decanter, Future Publishing, 121-141 Westbourne Terrace, London, W2 6JR
The Decanter editorial team
Chris Maillard – Editor-in-Chief
Chris is a highly experienced journalist who has launched and edited many award-winning brands, including Restaurant, BBC Top Gear, and Sky magazine. He conceived and launched the globally successful 50 Best Restaurants awards, has worked agency-side with Interbrand and WGSN among others, and achieved success in the branded content world, including work for clients such as BMW, Royal Mail, l’Oréal and HSBC. He joined Decanter as editor in chief at the start of 2021.
Amy Wislocki – Magazine Editor & Regional Editor (Champagne, Alsace, Loire)
Amy joined Decanter in October 2000 as editor, aged 28, and has spent 15 happy years since then, immersed in the world of wine and wine magazine publishing. In 2006 she became managing editor.
Before joining Decanter, she had a career working on other magazines with a mostly male readership – first on What to Buy for Business (Reed Business Information), a buying guide to office equipment and services. Moving to customer magazine company Redwood in 1996, she worked as deputy editor on Psion User, AA Magazine and BT Talking Business. After six months in Bosnia (a sabbatical working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Sarajevo), she returned to edit the BT magazine for two years before moving to Decanter to take up what she describes as her ‘dream job’.
Tina Gellie – Content Manager & Regional Editor (US, Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa)
Tina Gellie is Decanter’s content editor and has worked for the magazine since 2008. An awarded wine writer and editor, she also won several scholarships on the way to getting her WSET Diploma, and is a freeman of The Worshipful Company of Distillers. She has more than 12 years’ experience in wine publishing, including as deputy and acting editor of Wine International. Before her wine career she was a newspaper journalist for broadsheets in London and Australia.
Lisa Riley – Editor, Decanter.com
Lisa Riley joined the Decanter team in September 2021 and is editor of Decanter.com.
Before Decanter, she served as news & web editor of Harpers Wine & Spirits, previous to which she headed up the drinks section for The Grocer. She has over 15 years’ experience as a journalist writing for a range of key titles.
Georgie Hindle – Decanter Premium editor & Regional Editor (France)
After studying journalism at university, Georgie started her wine career at Decanter as deputy editor of Decanter.com in 2011 where she stayed for several years covering wine news and events whilst learning about everything wine has to offer.
She now lives in south-west France, and is Decanter’s Premium editor as well as regional editor for France (excluding Champagne, Alsace and Loire), whilst studying for the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits.
Sylvia Wu – Editor, Decanter China & Regional Editor (Asia, Northern & Eastern Europe)
Sylvia Wu is the editor of DecanterChina.com, taking care of Decanter’s China-focused editorial operation.
Trained as a journalist in Beijing Foreign Studies University and then University of Leicester, Sylvia is fluent in English, Japanese and Mandarin. After a career in advertising, Sylvia started her journey in wine with Decanter in 2012. The former non-drinker was immediately drawn to the astonishingly complex but fascinating world of wine. She has now completed her studies towards WSET Diploma.
Julie Sheppard – Regional Editor (Spain, Portugal, South America) and Spirits editor
Julie Sheppard joined the Decanter team in 2018 and is regional editor for Spain, Portugal & South America, as well as spirits editor.
Before Decanter, she served as managing editor of both Imbibe and Square Meal, associate publisher of The Drinks Business, senior editor of the Octopus Publishing Group and Supplements editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit. As a contributor, she has over 16 years’ experience writing for a wide range of trade and consumer titles.
Natalie Earl – Regional editor, France (excluding Bordeaux & Burgundy)
After studying a French & Italian degree, Natalie moved to the Languedoc to work for a vineyard tour company, before returning to the UK to join the Tastings team at Decanter in 2016. She worked across Decanter’s panel tastings and wine competitions before becoming Awards Competition Manager, overseeing the competitive and judging elements of the DWWA, DAWA and Retailer Awards, and passing her WSET Diploma in 2019.
In 2021 she made the shift to the Decanter Editorial team, and is now the Regional Editor for France, other than Bordeaux and Burgundy. She will always have a soft spot for the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon, but her wine tastes are wide-ranging and she can’t resist a glass of Manzanilla Sherry or the lure of an obscure grape variety.
James Button – Regional editor, Italy
James Button is Decanter’s regional editor for Italy, responsible for all of Decanter’s Italian content in print and online,
Like many others, he started his wine career at Majestic Wine, giving him a strong grounding in the subject before successfully completing the WSET Level 4 Diploma in 2010. From 2014 to 2016 he managed the fine wine department of a startup wine company in London, before joining Decanter as digital sub-editor.
David Longfield – Production editor
David Longfield joined the Decanter Magazine team in 2015 as a freelance sub-editor, but he took on a permanent role as senior copy editor in 2018. He first entered the wine world as an Oddbins branch manager, a role he held for 11 years before finding his way into journalism. In 2000 he got his big break as deputy editor of everywine.co.uk, followed by Drinks International magazine as features editor then deputy editor over eight years. Turning freelance in 2010, he gained further experience at The Spirits Business and the Sommelier Wine Awards, as well as judging at the World Drinks Awards spirits competition.
Patrick Grabham – Art editor
Patrick has over 30 years of experience in magazine design. He has been art editor of Decanter for 16 years and during that time, he has developed a very keen interest in wine, particularly German Rieslings.
Tim Atkin MW
Tim Atkin is an award-winning wine journalist, author, broadcaster, competition judge and photographer. He joined Decanter as a contributing editor in 2018, specialising in Burgundy.(?)
Aside from Decanter, he writes for an array of publications, including Harpers, The Drinks Business and Imbibe, plus his own website, TimAtkin.com.
Fiona Beckett writes Decanter’s regular features on food and wine matching and runs the website matchingfoodandwine.com, which also includes pairings with beer, cocktails and other drinks. An award-winning journalist, Beckett has written regularly for many of the UK’s leading newspapers, including The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Mail. Beckett has written 15 books about food and wine, including How to Match Food and Wine, Cooking with Wine and Wine by Style.
Stephen Brook has been a contributing editor to Decanter since 1996 and has won a clutch of awards for his writing on wine. The author of more than 30 books, his works include Complete Bordeaux, now the definitive study of the region and in its third edition, and The Wines of California, which won three awards. His most recently published book is The Wines of Austria. Brook also fully revised the last two editions of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion, and he writes for magazines in many countries.
Andy Howard MW
Andy Howard MW became a Master of Wine in 2011 and runs his own consultancy business, Vinetrades Ltd, which focuses on education, judging, investment and sourcing.
He previously worked for Marks & Spencer as a buyer for over 30 years and was responsible as wine buyer for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, Italy, North and South America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry.
Although his key areas of expertise are Burgundy and Italy, he also has great respect for the wines of South America and South Africa, as well as a keen interest in the wines from South West France
At the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) he was the Regional Chair for Southern Italy. – check 2020?
Andrew Jefford contributes a column every month to Decanter magazine, and has written the widely-followed Jefford on Monday blog for Decanter.com and DecanterChina.com. Jefford has been writing and broadcasting about wine (as well as about food, whisky, travel and perfume) since the 1980s, winning many awards for his work. After spending 15 months as a senior research fellow at Adelaide University between 2009 and 2010, he now lives with his family in the Languedoc, close to Pic St Loup.
James Lawther MW
James Lawther MW is a wine writer, lecturer and tour guide based in Bordeaux. He retailed wine at Steven Spurrier’s Les Caves de la Madeleine in Paris in the 1980s, and his early career also involved stints as a cellar hand in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Roussillon and Western Australia. In 1993, Lawther became a Master of Wine. He is author of The Heart of Bordeaux and The Finest Wines of Bordeaux, and has contributed to books including Dorling Kindersley’s Wines of the World, Oz Clarke’s Bordeaux and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book.
Matt Walls is an award-winning freelance wine writer and consultant, contributing regular articles to various print and online titles including Decanter where he is the Rhone specialist and writes fortnightly for Decanter Premium. He publishes the blog mattwalls.co.uk, for which he was named the 2015 International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year.
His first book on wine, Drink Me!, won Best Newcomer at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards. In addition to writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings and judges at food and wine competitions.
Alex Layton – Head of marketing
Alex Layton joined Decanter in October 2018 as Head of Marketing. Alex has over decade’s experience in the trade via a well-trodden route starting at Majestic Wine before moving into the marketing and communications side of the industry. He then ran numerous campaigns for global wine brands and regions. He is currently studying towards his WSET Diploma in Wines and is a graduate of the WSET BACK programme.
Olivia Mason – Awards Marketing Manager
Olivia Mason is the Awards Marketing Manager at Decanter, looking after the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter Retailer Awards.
Olivia is currently completing her WSET Diploma, is a Certified Sommelier and has a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies. Before joining Decanter in 2019, Olivia worked winemaking vintages in California, Oregon, Australia and New Zealand, where she also wrote for online database Wine-Searcher. She also has experience working in the spirits industry with specialist drink retailer The Whisky Exchange.
Nina Feng – China Marketing Manager
Nina Fan Feng is Decanter’s China marketing manager. She joined Decanter as an intern in 2012, and became digital producer of DecanterChina.com a few months later.
Nina joined the marketing team in 2015 to focus on promoting Decanter’s activities in China, especially it’s annual tasting event Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter.
Originally from Beijing, Nina rarely drank wine before starting the job at Decanter. The environment at Decanter encouraged her to explore the rich and colourful world of wine and passed her WSET Level three in Wine.
Rest of team
Brand Design Manager: Emma Jupp (on Maternity leave)
Brand Design manager: Claire Reynolds (Maternity cover)
Brand Design Executive: Michelle Mitchell
Head of sales: Sonja van Praag
– Stephen Hobley
– Michael Denton
– Rupert Owen
– Laura Bianco
– Michela Nassiz
– Cesar Soler
– Charlotte Hale
Find out more about advertising with Decanter here.
Events & Awards:
Head of Events & Awards: Victoria Stanage
Awards Executive: Shivani Tomar
Events & Awards logistics manager: Simon Wright
Events & Awards Operations and Procurement Manager: Danny John Casely
Events Manager: Madelene Andersson
Events Assistant: Jeanne Thexton
The Decanter Guarantee
Our buying guide provides you with trusted, independent, expert recommendations on what to buy, drink and cellar. Each panel tasting is judged by three experienced tasters chosen for their authority in the category of wine being rated. All wines are tasted blind and are pre-poured for judges in flights of 8-10 wines. Our experts taste and score wines individually but then discuss their scores together at the end of each flight. Any wines on which scores are markedly different are retasted; however, judges are under no obligation to amend their scores. Judges are encouraged to look for typicity in wines, rewarding those that are true to their region. When judging, experts are aware of wine price bands – under £15, £15-£30 and over £30 – with the aim of recognising and rewarding quality and value.
The tastings are held in the controlled environment of Decanter’s tasting suite: a quiet, purposely designed room, with natural light. We limit the number of wines tasted to a manageable level – a maximum of 85 per day – allowing judges to taste more thoroughly and avoid palate fatigue.
Drink-by dates indicated are based on how long it is prudent to keep the wine in question. However, some wines will have a longer ageing capacity if stored in pristine conditions throughout their lifespan.
Tasters rate the wines using the 100-point scoring system. The overall Decanter rating is the average of all three judges’ scores. The ratings are as follows:
98-100 Exceptional A great, exceptional and profound wine
95-97 Outstanding An excellent wine of great complexity and character
90-94 Highly Recommended A very accomplished wine, with impressive complexity
86-89 Recommended A well-made, straightforward and enjoyable wine
83-85 Commended An acceptable, simple wine with limited personality
76-82 Fair Correctly made, if unexciting
70-75 Poor Unbalanced and/or bland with no character
For the Exceptional and Outstanding Decanter ratings, judges’ individual scores and tasting notes are listed in addition to the average score. For the Highly Recommended and Recommended wines, individual and average scores are also listed but tasting notes are a combination of the three judges’ notes.
Decanter and the IPSO
Decanter is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact us by calling 01225 442244 or writing to us at Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA, UK. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk.
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