I am delighted to announce that in the Portuguese Wine Awards 2011 our Julia, Julia Harding MW, has been chosen as winner of the Journalism Award by the British Association of Portuguese Wine Importers.
I had the great honour last night of accepting the award on her behalf as she is currently in Brazil (speaking the right language anyway) from the new Portuguese ambassador in London Dr João de Vallera who is, promisingly, a great wine lover. When in Berlin, he told me, he made a point of going to Prowein each year and spending two days there. His most recent foreign posting was Washington DC where he organised many a wine event. This promises well for the future of Portuguese wine in the UK, its second most important export market. (The US is fourth.) In Portugal – how to convince the rest of the world published five years ago I made the point that a wine-friendly ambassador can make a real difference. The picture shows the ambassador with me and the runner-up for the journalist award Hamish Anderson of the Tate restaurants.
Julia's duties as Journalist of the Year will be to travel to Portugal and choose her 50 favourite wines to be shown at a special tasting in London early in 2012. She is already very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Portuguese wine and I'm sure, knowing her admirable attention to detail, that she will be a particularly conscientious recipient of the award.
Others who have undertaken the task in the past include Jamie Goode. Sarah Ahmed and Tom Cannavan. You can see Jamie's top 50 here and Sarah's top 50 here. Tom Cannavan's selections will be shown in London on 6 June 2011.