Fortnum & Mason Awards

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It was all a bit crazy on Tuesday night. Especially as it is the middle of Bordeaux (and 2011 Port) en primeurs. So I was up for an award from Fortnum & Mason for Online Drink Writer with Knackered Mother’s Wine Club (Helen McGinn, ex-Tesco) and Matt Walls (who won a special award for his book – Drink Me!). It was nice to be nominated and congratulations to Helen and Matt. All of us have a background in the wine trade, which I thought was quite interesting. At least I was in the right category – when originally asked to apply for the award it was for food writer! This is very funny when you know how I order at restaurants: wine chosen first and then the food has to work around it. And if doesn’t work around it, then I will stick to the bread.

Chatting afterwards with Financial Times’ John Stimpfig (nominated for Drink Writer Award) and his friends we got up the courage to speak to Mary Berry. A bit merry berry myself at this stage, somehow we got asking whether there were any links in the family to her. She was sad to say there were was no connection with us, alas. I guess we all wish she was related when we see her on television and surrounded by all that baking! One too many glasses of Fortnum’s Champagne, I asked if she was then related to wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd. “I wish I was,” she laughed. Then, after discussing the possibility that the vats at Cheval Blanc are inspired by natural wine from Georgia with Julia Harding (“No!” said Julia, firmly) and after declaring my true feelings to Michel Roux Jr (“I love you!” I blurted out and then ran away), it was time to go home and have a nice cup of tea.

Photo of Claudia Winkleman presenting the awards

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