Headed up by Competition Manager Chris Losh, the awards feature a hand-picked panel of distinguished and experienced judges from the industry, including former senior group buyers, to ensure a robust and credible judging process.
Chris has been writing about drinks and wine for almost 25 years. In that time, he’s edited Wine & Spirit International and Wine Magazine and was co-founder of Imbibe, which he left in the summer after 12.5 years heading up the editorial team. In his time at Imbibe he set up numerous competitions and awards, most significantly the Sommelier Wine Awards, for which he’s still chairman. He’s written numerous books – the most recent of which, ‘Where to Drink Wine’ was published in 2018. He’s been a columnist for the Just-Drinks website since 2000, and is currently writing for a wide-range of trade and consumer publications. He lives on the South Coast with his family and collection of spare livers.
From being the wine waiter in a restaurant with pretentions, Alistair joined Adnams in 1977, finally hanging up his corkscrew 40 years later. The intervening four decades saw wine move from the cellars of the few to a staple in everybody’s shopping trolley and, as the buyer for Adnams for a large part of that time, he had a ringside seat on supply from growers direct, brokers, negociants or agents both at home and internationally.
Allan is a former Sainsbury’s trading director for Beers Wines and Spirits, with 31 years at the company. Since 2002 he has run his own consulting company working with the global wine industry. Allan is still involved with the WSET, sits on the board of a small wine importer and is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers.
Angela Mount is a wine consultant, restaurant buyer, wine and food presenter, journalist and international judge. She was formerly Head of Wine Buying for Somerfield, one of the five top supermarkets in the UK, and is widely accredited for bringing, as a buyer, a no-nonsense approach to wine buying for mainstream consumers. She is best known for having her taste buds insured by her employers, for £10million, which brought her to national recognition. She now works with wine producers to develop their international strategy, helping them understand the workings and logistics of importing to the UK, whilst blending their wines to styles to suit the challenging UK market.
With a background as a Head Chef and in restaurant management, Christine created the opening wine list for Hakkasan in 2001, eventually becoming Group Head of Wine. She has won numerous awards including Wine List of the Year, Imbibe Industry Legend and a Wine & Spirit Ambassador Catey.
Eileen Ginger spent over 20 years as a Wine/Drinks Buyer for Whitbread. She has bought wine for many recognised UK branded businesses over the time including Marriott Hotels, TGIF, Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, Beefeater and Premier Inn. She has also been a judge several times for Harpers and the drinks business.
Retail runs in Howard’s blood, as his father was the third generation of family shopkeepers and he grew up in the flat above his toyshop.
Howard has always worked in the food industry and, after a stint in manufacturing, it was almost inevitable that he would join a supermarket and so it was, Sainsbury’s as a Food Technologist.
Following work in various meat and dairy areas he was seconded to ‘Beers, Wines & Spirits’, a position he made his own and held for over 20 years. This role took him to all the major wine & spirit producing countries in the world. Since leaving Sainsbury’s 10 years ago, he has acted as a consultant to small drinks businesses and has regularly judged a number of the main drinks competitions.
Martin is a well-seasoned professional chef, restaurateur and wine taster with over 45 years experience, with almost 22 years as owner of renowned Battersea restaurant Ransome's Dock. He now works as an advisor and consultant on all matters of taste concerning the restaurant world, from wine lists to menus, staff training and beyond.
Nick has over 30 years buying experience in both off and on trade environments with an excellent knowledge of key market and consumer trends, a strong focus on operational delivery, a collaborative style to supplier relationship management and a granular category approach that optimises cash margin opportunities.
He has held senior procurement roles in Greenall’s, S&N Retail, Spirit Group, Tattershall Castle Group and Novus Leisure. Nick is currently a director of Rusty Pig Consulting operating as an independent consultant to the on trade.
Ruth has a wealth of knowledge within the wine trade starting her career with Whitbread in 1990 before moving on to Greenalls as a buyer in 1995 and then senior buyer at The Warehouse Wine Company in 2000. Ruth’s passion and true love for wine led her to open her first Corks Out store in 2003, a business that quickly developed over the years to five stores across Cheshire, soon becoming recognised as one of the leading Independent wine retailers in the UK with over 30 awards and accolades along the way.
The online side of the business gained reputation across the UK with a classy feel that reached out to customers further afield, offering a personal service from its online team and a marketing strategy that took Corks Out to the next level nationally without opening stores across the country.
Although no longer involved at the helm of the Corks Out business, Ruth is a proud founder and a recognised entrepreneur within the wine trade.