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Louis Roederer Wine Writers’ Awards 2012: winners revealed

This year’s winners of the 2012 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards were announced last night at a ceremony in London's Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel, with Decanter’s Andrew Jefford awarded International Online Columnist/Blogger of the Year.

Jefford, who won for various works published on Decanter.com, was unable to collect his award in person as he is currently in Hong Kong judging for the Decanter Asia Awards.

This is Jefford’s fourth Roederer after previously winning the International Wine Columnist of the Year Award in 2010 and two International Wine Writer of the Year Awards, in 2006 and 2007.

Another Decanter contributor John Stimpfig collected the award for International Wine Feature Writer of the Year for his ‘How to Spend It’ feature in The Financial Times.

Speaking about the award he said: ‘I honestly don’t think you ever expect to win, you have no idea if you’re going to win, it’s an incredibly well-kept secret and I just feel as though it’s good to be shortlisted and fantastic if you win.  

‘There are lots of great wine writers here tonight so to come away with a prize is great. I’m over the moon.’

Wine-writer Evan Dawson travelled from New York to collect the award for International Wine Book of the Year for ‘Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes’. On winning, he told Decanter.com: ‘When my book was in its nascent stages there was no indication there would ever be a publisher let alone an International award for it.

‘I think it won this award, not because it was beautifully written, but because the stories are so compelling and because Roederer are willing to be open-minded to any story about any wine anywhere in the world.

‘I’m delighted and honoured to be with such wonderful people.’

Wine-writer and Decanter contributor Michael Fridjhon, who had journeyed from South Africa to attend the ceremony, won the award for International Wine Columnist of the Year. He said: ‘The obvious thing, I’m elated and delighted. It’s the award you aim for when you write about wine. I’m really gratified and very pleased.

‘I’m also delighted that the award is evermore international not only because there are winners not from the UK but because clearly it’s an award that now reaches out to the English speaking wine writing world wherever that may be.’

The evening ceremony featured a food and Champagne paired tasting session which included: Blanc de Blancs 2006 with courgette and langoustine canapés, Brut Rose 2007 with small bowls of strawberry risotto, Brut Vintage 2006 with mini balls of wild mushroom risotto, Cristal 2005 with scallops on cauliflower purée and Carte Blanche NV paired with pecorino cheese and fig compote on toasted bread.

This year’s eighth International Wine Writers’ Awards panel of judges included: wine writer and broadcaster Peter Richards MW, wine writer and correspondent of The Independent Anthony Rose, wine writer Dr Jamie Goode, regular Decanter contributor Margaret Rand, and two time winner of the Louis Roederer Regional Wine Writer of the Year title, Liz Sagues. The judging panel was headed by Chairman Charles Metcalfe, wine writer and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.

The full list of winners:
The Artistry of Wine Award – Colin HamPden-White
Emerging Wine Writer of the Year – Erika Szymanski – palatepress.com
International Online Wine Columnist/Blogger of the Year – Andrew Jefford – decanter.com
International Wine Website of the Year – Peter Liem – champagneguide.net
International Wine Publication of the Year – The World of Fine Wine
Regional Wine Writer of the Year – Tom Bruce Gardyne – articles from The Glasgow Herald
International Wine Book of the Year – Evan Dawson – Summer in a Glass
International Wine Columnist of the Year – Michael Fridjhon – columns from Business Day, South Africa
International Wine Feature Writer of the Year – John Stimpfig – The Financial Times How to Spent It

Written by Georgina Hindle

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