Tamlyn Currin named Drink Writer of the Year

Tamlyn Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Award

Our very own Tam, shown above between chef-hosts Angela Hartnett and Andi Oliver, was feted at Fortnum & Mason’s 12th annual Food and Drink Awards.

Last Thursday evening, at The Royal Exchange in London, Fortnum & Mason announced the winners of their 12th annual Food and Drink Awards, awarded to the UK’s top communicators in the culinary and beverages sphere, and our very own Tamlyn Currin took the honour of Drink Writer of the Year for her work published here during 2023. Tam was quite sure she wasn’t going to win – she was certain it would go to fellow nominee Adam Wells, explaining, ‘No one has worked more tirelessly and passionately to be an ambassador for an overlooked drinks category [cider] and he writes beautifully.’ But we were more confident. For we know of no other wine writer who pours so much of herself into every article she writes, and does it with such honest, raw, inimitable style.

If you don’t know her writing already, a good place to start are the articles that snagged her the award: a series exploring Armenian wine. This is Tam at her most vivid, writing her heart out for a country that touched her soul. It’s about wine, but it’s also about history, culture, land and most of all people. Reading Tam makes you remember why wine is worth writing and reading about. It’s not just about what’s in your glass. It’s about everything that happened to get it there.

There’s lots more reading to delve into after that. She’s been at JancisRobinson.com for nearly 17 years. Even in her first-ever letter to Jancis, Tam showed her penchant for keen observation and detailed descriptive abilities, writing of the tasting they’d met at in a school gymnasium:

‘From the start, the evocative smell (faintly sweaty, traces of socks and trainers) of the gymnasium was strangely familiar and welcoming; a wonderful contrast to the event at hand. We thoroughly enjoyed the wines, the interesting talk, the discussions and the smiliest sommeliers I have ever been served by.’

A year later Tam joined JancisRobinson.com, only the second person – after Julia Harding MW – to join Jancis in building this site. She started by inputting tasting notes but quickly progressed to being one of the most prolific suppliers of tasting notes on the team; if she’s not writing, it’s because she’s got a corkscrew in one hand and a bottle in the other.

She’s a keen cook as well, and she puts all those bottles to excellent use with her pairing exercises, which she turns into articles that are often provocative and always delicious. A voracious reader, Tam also writes extraordinarily thoughtful and thorough reviews of wine books. And of course she regularly takes deep dives into regions and wines around the world, with a particular sensitivity to sustainability (somehow, in between all the tasting and writing, she is also actively pursuing a BSc in environmental science).

So you see why we couldn’t be more pleased to have Tam’s talents so widely recognised. Follow her and enjoy!

Katie Lander and Tamlyn Currin with their Fortnum awards

In other good news, Katie Lander, sister of Nick, our restaurant critic, took home an award in the broadcast category: she is the executive producer of the winning programme Sophie Grigson: Slice of Italy Series Two. See Fortum & Mason’s site for the full list of winners, which includes two books we highly recommended earlier this year: Vines in a Cold Climate and How to Drink Australian. Katie is seen above with Tam, both clutching their awards.

Separately but also filed under ‘awards’: Samantha Cole-Johnson, our Senior Editor US, has made the longlist for the inaugural 67 Pall Mall Global Wine Communicator Awards in three (3!) categories: audio, video and long-form writing. If you haven’t read, watched or tuned into her free weekly Wine news in 5 newscast or read her work, please do! Winners will be announced on 6 September 2024.

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