Did you get a gong last week? NO? Can you live with yourself?
It was Gong of Gongs week and if you failed to make the gong grade then what exactly was the point of getting out of bed? It’s a cruel world that fails to recognise one’s talents. First up at the London International Wine Fair the Decanter and International Wine Challenge gold medals were announced with trophies to be given out at their respective black tie dinners, usually held, for those who enjoy such occasions on consecutive evenings in early September. Then along came the Drinks Business Man of the Year Award and the inaugural Harpers Awards recognizing the achievements of various people in the wine industry, not forgetting the Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards, doing much the same again, but not necessarily to the same people.
I was just about to send my congratulations to Emily O’Hare of the River Café for winning the Harpers Sommelier of the Year Award when another tweet came through announcing that Jan Konetzki at Gordon Ramsay had just won the Moët et Chandon Sommelier of the Year. I became confused about who to be congratulating but tweeted ‘congratulations to all worthy winners’ anyway. In the midst of all this, the grandly titled Born Digital Awards were announced to virtual fanfare at the London International Wine Fair recognizing the contributions of the bloggers and tweeters to the social media world. A Frenchman next to me muttered about a Tweet of Ze Year award but I suspect it was just sour grapes on his part.
Then something calling itself the 10 in 10 For Business Awards by Wine Intelligence was announced at the London International Wine Fair, creating enormous logistical problems for anyone clever enough to have been awarded awards at both awards ceremonies. Hands were shaken, backs duly patted and acceptance speeches made underlining the extraordinary importance of the award and the astonishing perceptiveness of those giving the gongs. They followed in the wake of an artcle in trade journal Off-Licence News telling us who the 75 most influential people in wine were. At least there were no awards involved, saving Off-Licence News valuable resources and sparing us from having to attend yet another awards ceremony.
Even The Wine Gang got in on the act by holding our inaugural Best of Show Awards at the London International Wine Fair. We tasted our way around the LIWF, shortlisted 33 wines and showered the wine industry with four – thoroughly well-deserved – gongs, one of which we presented to Peter Gago of Penfolds, who’d just hot-footed it across the hall from receiving the Drinks Business Man of the Year Award. A lot of people came to the stand and photographed the event as our very own Jane Parkinson dramatically unveiled the winners.Scroll down for our full notes on all 33 wines as this month's bonus report.
Too many awards in the drinks industry? Get real, I’m off to judge the Louis Roederer Awards for Best Wine Writer. I’ve always believed that giving was better than receiving.