The wine world flocked to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum last night for the 4th Decanter World Wine Awards Dinner, where trophy winners celebrated in style among the expansive canvases of the museum’s Raphael Room.
Highlighting the worldwide reach of the awards, the great and good of the UK trade shared tables with winemakers from across the globe. Producers flew in from as far afield as Australia, South Africa and California to collect their individually engraved Trophy decanters from Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Awards.
While the identity of regional trophy winners was already known, anticipation mounted throughout the evening over who would scoop the 25 International Trophies.
The New World made its presence known, amassing a sizeable collection of awards during the ceremony. Notable triumphs included a groundbreaking win for New Zealand over Burgundy in the Pinot Noir category, with Bald Hills Bannockburn Pinot from Central Otago walking away with the award.
South Africa also enjoyed a famous night, picking up three International Trophies for its sometimes-derided reds, including the Bordeaux Blend Trophy for Oak Valley’s The Oak Valley Blend, 2004.
The indefatigable Concha y Toro had another successful year, winning International Trophies for both its Chilean Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc 2006 and Argentinian Otra Vida Malbec 2006.
An evening of unashamed glamour began with invitees rubbing shoulders over International Sparkling Trophy winner Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995 Champagne and canapés.
Dinner followed, where guests were treated to a host of trophy-winning wines. Duck au poivre with black truffle mash was washed down with Seghesio, Old Vine Zinfandel 2004 and Château d’Aydie’s Madiran 2004, while Tempus Two, Pewter Botrytis Semillon 2005 and Grant Burge 20-year-old Tawny accompanied dessert.
The evening drew to a close with the announcement of the Retailer Awards, voted for by Decanter readers from an elite shortlist.
Among the highlights, The Secret Cellar in Tunbridge Wells saw off competition from Islington’s The Sampler and Vinoteca in Farringdon to win Small Independent Merchant of the Year, while Waitrose scooped Supermarket of the Year for the second year running.
Supermarket of the Year – Waitrose
High Street Retailer of the Year – Majestic
Online Merchant of the Year – The Wine Society
Independent Merchant of the Year – Laithwaites
Small Independent Merchant of the Year – The Secret Cellar, Tunbridge Wells
Specialist Independent Merchant of the Year – Joseph Barnes Wines, Saffron Walden
For a full list of all the DWWA results, click here:
Written by Lucy Shaw