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.
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.
Anthony Rose was the wine correspondent of The Independent from start in 1986 to finish in 2016 of the print version. Since leaving The Independent, he has written two books, Sake and the Wines of Japan (Infinite Ideas, 2018 and, Fizz! Champagne and Sparkling Wines of the World (Infinite Ideas 2021). Today he contributes to publications that include Decanter Magazine, The World of Fine Wine and the Oxford Companion to Wine and he is the Decanter World Wine Awards chair for Southern Italy. Anthony has won a number of awards and is a founding member of The Wine Gang (https://www.thewinegang.com) and is on Twitter at @anthonyrosewine. He lives in London and is a keen cook and photographer.
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.
Helen McGinn is an award-winning author, drinks writer and presenter. After spending a decade as a supermarket wine buyer for Tesco, she founded wine blog The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, now a best-selling wine book. She co-chairs the International Wine Challenge, one of the world’s biggest wine competitions, and is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail’s Femail Magazine and Waitrose Food Magazine. She regularly appears on television as a wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and ITV’s This Morning and accolades include Best Online Drinks Writer at Fortnum & Mason’s inaugural Food & Drink Awards.
Howard has worked in the drinks industry for 35 years that commenced with 20 years as Sainsbury’s Lead Technologist, a role that took him all over the world selecting and developing suppliers, choosing and blending many award-winning wines, beers and spirits. Now a consultant, he advises various suppliers and importers on quality and legal matters. He has been a Judge for the IWC, IWSC, IBC and a few others including the Albanian Wine Contest in Tirana.
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.
Ronan is a Master Sommelier (one of only 214 in the world), previous winner of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition and twice a representative for the UK in the European Sommelier Competition. He’s also a regular judge for the Sommelier of the Year Competition and various tasting competitions (including the Decanter World Wine Awards) and an examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Formerly he worked for the Gordon Ramsay group as Executive Head Sommelier for 8 years, mainly in the 3 Michelin star Royal Hospital Road plus created the wine lists and trained wine service teams for Claridge’s, the Connaught, the Savoy, Boxwood Café, Maze and several overseas operations including Dubai, Tokyo and New York.
Other previous employers include Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Pied à Terre, wine merchant OW Loeb and the Greenhouse Restaurant (which has the UK’s largest wines list of 3,400 bins) plus the Hotel du Vin group, a boutique, 14 hotel chain which is themed around wine as the Wine and Spirit Director. More recently as the Head of Wines for the Dorchester Collection UK – 3 luxury hotels (The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park).
Susy Atkins is a long-standing weekly wine and drinks columnist for the Telegraph; she is also wine editor for Delicious magazine and a freelance writer and presenter. The author of 11 books on wine and drinks, and for 12 years a regular wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Susy has won several awards for her work including Lanson, Glenfiddich and Louis Roederer writing awards and IWSC Communicator of the Year.