I'm sitting in San Francisco getting ready for a day of Atlas plugging knowing something that Julia doesn't know: that at tonight's annual reception for the Institute of Masters of Wine in Vintners' Hall in London she is to be given the Noval Communication Award sponsored by AXA Millésimes. This relatively new award is for excellence in communication and is restricted to MWs of less than five years' standing. I hope most visitors to this site will agree that Julia has already amassed an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise in those five years. See here for her biography.
She is currently lurking in a nearby Pret a Manger coffee shop, filling in the time in suitably jancisrobinson.com style (ie working on this site) between a big tasting of 2003 red bordeaux put on by the Institute this morning and the reception tonight. I had to resort to subterfuge to persuade her to stay on for the reception, and I can't even post this article myself in advance for fear that she will read it in advance of the award's being announced. I'm having to rely on my son to publish it while the award is being made.
So, Julia, if you're reading this, many, many congratulations! I know how amazingly lucky I am to have you working with me but, clearly, lots of other people now know too.
The prize apparently is £1,000 (to be used, at least in part, for travel to Noval), a trip to Noval for two, a case of port (including, of course, some Nacional)... plus the glory.
Joanna Locke MW, Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, said at the ceremony where new MWs were also gonged, "I'm delighted to welcome seven such talented and diverse individuals to membership of the Institute. I'm particularly delighted by the success of our first Swedish Master of Wine, who lights a beacon for students from all over Europe, especially Scandinavia. I would also like to congratulate Julia on this significant achievement. Communication is a vital part of being a Master of Wine, and being recognised for excellence in this area is a true achievement."