Meet the 2021 judging panel
The Decanter Retailer Awards judging panel consists of five independent wine experts that have been chosen based on their extensive knowledge in the retail environment.
Joining Chairman Peter Richards MW on the 2021 judging panel will be Contributing Editor to Decanter and ex-wine buyer Andy Howard MW, drinks columnist Peter Ranscombe, presenter and educator Laura Clay, and new to the panel this year, importer Mags Janjo.
Peter Richards MW, Chairman
Wine Writer and 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
Contributing Editor for Decanter and ex-buyer for Marks & Spencer
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.
He is a Decanter contributing editor and writes a regular column on the UK wine retail trade for JancisRobinson.com.
At the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) he was the Regional Chair for Central Italy and Canada.
Wine Educator and Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators
Laura Clay is an experienced wine presenter having 30 years in the business, with particular interests in Bordeaux, Rioja, South Africa and Champagne but whose expertise covers wine regions from all around the world.
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.
Wine columnist and drinks blogger for Scottish Field
Peter Ranscombe became the wine columnist and drinks blogger for Scottish Field magazine in 2014 and completed his Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma the following year. He has also written about drinks for Decanter, Whisky Quarterly, Wine Tube Map, The Winerist, and several copywriting clients.
When he’s not writing about drinks, Peter is a freelance journalist and copywriter, working for publications including The Lancet’s specialist medical journals, The Times and the Press & Journal.
He studied physics at the University of St Andrews and trained as a journalist at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde universities, before spending nine years at The Scotsman newspaper.
His debut novel, an historical thriller called Hare, was published by Knox Robinson.
Mags Janjo holds his WSET Diploma and boasts 13 years of industry experience, having occupied a range of different roles across wine retail, sales and brand creation.
In 2020 he partnered with Jancis Robinson OBE MW to launch the BAME Wine Professionals website – an initiative to shine light on wine talent in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME).
He recently set up his own importer company, MJ Wine Cellars, offering wine education and consultancy services.*
*We trust our judges’ integrity, but to avoid any questionable conflicts of interest, Mags will not judge the Subscription Wine Club and Online Retailer categories.