Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Friday, 6 May 2016

Oz Clarke inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame

 Oz, Chris Stroud (marketing manager - 
Europe, New Zealand Winegrowers),  
Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith  

 Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith, 
NZ High Commissioner to UK 

This afternoon Oz Clarke, writer, actor and broadcaster, was inducted into the The New Zealand Hall of Fame at a brief ceremony at the top of New Zealand House. Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith, the New Zealand High Commissioner, made the presentation.


Press release:
'Oz Clarke inducted in to New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame

Oz Clarke, the man who helped put New Zealand Wine on the map, will be inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame on International Sauvignon Blanc Day, Friday May 6.

Oz is the first person in the UK to receive this honour, and only the second non-Kiwi (after Australian David Hohnen in 2006) to be recognised for having made major contributions to the development and enhancement of the domestic and export-based wine industry in New Zealand.


A passionate New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc enthusiast and advocate, Oz will be presented with his certificate of membership fittingly on International Sauvignon Blanc Day, at New Zealand House in London.


“There had never before been a wine that crackled and spat its flavours at you from the glass,” Oz said at the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, held in Marlborough earlier this year, where he captivated the audience as a keynote speaker with his first memories of tasting New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.


Oz first visited New Zealand in 1987 as a guest overseas judge at the inaugural Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the country’s premier national wine competition. He came again a few years later to judge, and has been a regular keynote speaker at the triennial Pinot Noir International events held in Wellington since 2001.


Commenting on Oz’s induction, the chairman of the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame Trust, Bob Campbell MW (who, incidentally judged on the same panel as Oz in 1987) said:


“Oz is special to Kiwi winemakers because, in 1984 he was among the first to recognise that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc had added a new style and flavour to the world of wine, and he never stopped saying it to anyone who would listen. Then, in 2001 he rated our best Pinot Noirs as being up there with the best of Burgundy – not better than but comparable with and complementary in style.” 
‘’On personal and regional levels, Oz has taken the time and trouble to get to know our wine people and their terroirs, and the synergies are such that we have come to regard him as an honorary Kiwi.”


 Chris Stroud

View from the top of New Zealand House

Thursday, 5 May 2016

CWW Master Class – Champagne Charles Heidsieck – Cyril Brun

Cyril Brun, cellar master for 
Champagne Charles Heidsieck

As is now traditional The Circle of Wine Writers held our Master Class on the opening morning (Tuesday 3rd May 2016) of the London Wine Trade Fair – back at Olympia for the second successive year. Called 'Does size matter?' the session looked at the differences between the same Champagne in different sizes of bottle.

Our thanks to Cyril Brun and Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Liberty Wines and Andrea Warren and Angela Reddin for organising the event.   

Champagne Jayne back in London

 Donna Jackson 

Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW 

 Keith Grainger 

Michael Edwards and Andy Henderson  

 Laura Clay


Brett Jones testing the new iFizz app

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Champagne Jayne cheerful and loyal despite CIVC persecution!

Champagne Jayne (note: #notachampagnewine) @ Charles Heidsieck
 – Does size matter? CWW seminar with Cyril Brun

Cyril Brun, cellar master for 
Charles Heidsieck

Champagne Jayne, also known as Jayne Powell, is in London. Amazingly for someone who has been most vilely persecuted by the CIVC (Comité Champagne Interprofessional Champagne), Jayne remains a loyal supporter and enthusiastic advocate of Champagne. Yesterday she was at the Circle of Wine Writers' Champagne seminar conducted by Cyril Brun, the cellar master for Charles Heidsieck.

I have huge admiration for Champagne Jayne's (note: #notachampagnewine) magnanimity as well as her courage in standing up to the Champagne bullies. Had I had been treated as Champagne Jayne has been by the industry and drink she loves, I would have turned my back for good on Champagne and written about sparkling wines from more sympathetic regions

It would be good to know how much money the CIVC wasted on persecuting Champagne Jayne. Top lawyers do not come cheap! How much change, I wonder, did the CIVC and their members have at out of £1 million after a case that they should never have brought and one that thankfully they essentially lost?