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Oz Clarke is UK’s best-known wine writer: official

Oz Clarke is the most-recognised wine critic in the UK, a new poll claims.

The Wine Intelligence survey, which polled the views of more than 1,500 regular UK wine drinkers, revealed that Clarke was the most familiar to them.

18.2% recognised the respected wine writer and occasional Decanter contributor.

Clarke made his name with the BBC show Food and Drink, a programme which exposed the public for the first time to the outlandish tasting notes of Clarke and co-taster Jilly Goolden.

Runner-up was newcomer Olly Smith, winner of Hardy’s Wine Idol competition in 2005, former wine pundit with husband-and-wife chat show hosts Richard and Judy, and a regular on food shows such as the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

The list confirmed that wine critics who appear on television, or write for a tabloid are, predictably, far more recognised than traditional wine writers.

Sarah Jane Evans MW (BBC Good Food, and numerous TV shows) and Matthew Jukes (Daily Mail) were not far behind Smith.

Former Guardian columnist and Superplonk author Malcolm Gluck, whose sensationalist take on the wine industry, The Great Wine Swindle, hit the headlines last month, was a surprising fifth.

He pipped names such as Jancis Robinson MW (sixth), Jane MacQuitty (eighth), and Tim Atkin MW (16th).

Decanter columnists Hugh Johnson and Michael Broadbent were well down the list, as were those who write in UK broadsheets.

A Wine Intelligence spokesman said, ‘One conclusion from this study is that broadsheet column inches alone are perhaps not as influential as they once were: the critics that regular wine drinkers find the most compelling and engaging are those embracing a range of media, communicating about wine in a broader lifestyle context.’

Written by Stuart Peskett

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