Many congratulations to our Julia Harding MW who has been shortlisted in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2009 as Online Wine Writer of the Year for her writing on this website which, I don't know about you, I always find a model of clarity and information. But then I am extremely biased in this respect.
Also shortlisted in this category are Canadian Natalie MacLean for articles from www.nataliemaclean.com, Leigh-on-Sea boy Neal Martin for articles from www.erobertparker.com and South African Kate Thal for articles from www.greenandbluewines.com International indeed.
As usual for wine writing competitions whose roots lie in print media, the judges - Victoria Moore of The Guardian, Simon Berry of Berry Bros & Rudd, Tom Cannavan of www.wine-pages.com, Andrew Jefford and chairman Charles Metcalfe - are asked to base their deliberations about online wine writing on printouts of a small number of specific articles.
Purple pager Neville Blech has also been shortlisted, with co-authors Philip Williamson and David Moore in the International Wine Book category for their Guide to the Wines of England and Wales although since the book was written there has been a major fallout (see Author v publisher).
Another writer, Joanna Simon, shortlisted with Tim Atkin, Michael Broadbent and Robert Joseph as International Wine Columnist of the Year, was judged on the basis of her writing in the Sunday Times for whom she is no longer wine columnist, as noted in Wine journalists - an endangered species?.
My pessimism about the future of wine writing makes me wonder how long this competition, previously sponsored by Lanson champagne, can persist with its emphasis on the printed word. Perhaps the answer will be to encourage more entries from outside the UK?