To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Decanter World Wine Awards, we're profiling a number of this year's judges, who are some of the world's most renowned wine experts. Our 'Meet the Judges' interview series offers a rare insight into the world of wine and judging from the key industry experts deciding this year's best wines.
In this interview, find out about Barbara Philip MW, who is a wine buyer and consultant based in Canada…
Tell us a little about yourself – where are you based and where do you work?
I am based in Vancouver, Canada, where I am the European Buyer for the BC Liquor Store chain. I also run Barbariain Wine Consulting with my husband Iain.
Tell us a bit about your expertise and how you got into wine?
My background is in restaurants, which is where I first started to get excited about wine. Once I started taking the WSET classes I was truly hooked, and I then spent several years training sommeliers around North America and working on the MW before taking the purchasing job.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working in the wine industry?
To be open to all wines and celebrate the diversity of the product.
Who has been your biggest inspiration during your wine career?
So many – Chef Andrey Durbach, Winemaker Howard Soon, Bob Betz MW and DC Flynt MW are the start of a long list…
What are your most memorable wine moments from the last ten years?
Any time I’m around a table with good friends drinking interesting wines. I’m lucky to have had so many of these moments in the last 10 years that they are too numerous to count.
Which kinds of wines do you think should be given more attention in 2013?
Medium bodied, food-friendly reds.
Which wines are you drinking at home at the moment?
Juicy Italian reds.
What’s your desert island wine?
I honestly don’t have one. I think I’d be happy with just about anything as long as it had crisp acidity.
What single piece of advice do you have for people just starting out in wine?
Learn and taste as much as you can.
When judging, what are you looking for in great wine?
In addition to the standard stuff that makes a good wine (complexity, balance, length), I look for a great wine to have something distinctly characterful and compelling.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most about judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards?
Tasting with an international set of judges who bring different experiences and opinions to the table.
Written by Decanter.com
Barbara Philip MW is category manager at BC Liquor Stores in Canada, as well as a lecturer, radio columnist and