Meet the 2023 judging panel
The Decanter Retailer Awards judging panel consists of five independent wine experts who have been chosen based on their extensive knowledge in the retail environment.
Peter Richards MW, Chairman
Wine Writer & TV Presenter
As a broadcaster, writer and Master of Wine, Peter Richards is a familiar face to many, known for his unique blend of enthusiasm and erudition. His credits include more than a decade on BBC1 plus Sky One, ESPN, Financial Times, The Guardian, ITV1, Radio 4, BBC2 and The Sunday Times.
Peter is a regular Decanter contributor as well as Chairman of the Retailer Awards, and Regional Chair for Chile at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Andy Howard MW
Wine Consultant and ex-buyer for Berry Bros. & Rudd
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.
Howard previously worked for Marks & Spencer as a buyer for over 30 years and was responsible for Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Champagne, Italy, North and South America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry.
Wine Educator and Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators
She is an International Accredited Bordeaux and Rioja Tutor and was UK Champagne Ambassador in 2010. Laura is Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators. She is a past Chairman of the Midlands Wine & Spirit Trade Association, currently a committee member, and is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers. She is also part of the team who make up Love Wine, a bi-annual wine festival which had its inaugural event in November 2015 in Birmingham.
Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW
Master of Wine, Wine Lecturer, Author and Consultant
She has authored articles on wines, wine regions and wine-related events in trade publications and WSET journals. Michelle is a frequent guest wine expert at major wine shows and wine competitions, and consults to restaurants and wineries. She is an ambassador for trade bodies, utilising her specialist knowledge in Italy, France and the New World.
Wine Educator and owner of MJ Wine Cellars
Mags boasts 13 years of industry experience, having occupied a range of different roles across Wine Retail, Sales and Brand Creation.
Mags has spent his entire working life in the wine industry, starting off at Waitrose before a couple of years selling wine to both the on- and off-trade, including a stint at Majestic Wine’s commercial arm. He was most recently a Senior Account Manager at Roberson where he worked with major UK supermarkets. He now has his own company MJ Wine Cellars offering wine education and consultancy services.
Leona De Pasquale
Wine Educator, Wine Writer, Master of Wine Student
Leona started her career in wine over 20 years ago in Taiwan helping the French government promote wine and cheese on the island. After relocating to the UK, she worked for various wine importers in London serving both the on and off-trade customers and gained a wide range of industry experience before dedicating most of her time to writing and teaching about wine. She trains hospitality staff and now teaches for various wine schools including the WSET London.
Leona is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and has authored articles for various publications.Her translation work includes The World Atlas of Wine, American Wine, Natural Wine, Amber Revolution, and the WSET study materials. In addition to her love for wine, Leona is also a certified Tea Sommelier. Her training courses in wine and tea have been endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality in 2022.
Simon Field MW
Wine consultant, Wine Writer and ex-buyer for Berry Bros. & Rudd
This is the second year of Simon judging at the Decanter Retailer Awards. He joined Berry Brothers & Rudd in 1998 and was with them for 20 years, having spent several misguided but lucrative years working as a chartered accountant in the City. During his time at BBR Simon was buying the Spanish and fortified ranges, and was also responsible for purchasing wines from Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Rhône Valley and the Loire Valley.
He gained his Master of Wine qualification in October 2002 and in 2015 was admitted into the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino.