The current high standard of wine communication has been made evident with the announcement of the 2020 shortlist of IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year. The four contenders – Nina Caplan, Elaine Chukan Brown, Anne Krebiehl MW and Melissa Monosoff MS – are wine professionals who, between them, have achieved an enviable array of achievements and qualifications that put them at the top of their game. Ahead of the announcement of the winner at the IWSC awards on November 18, we take a look at each of the contenders and discover what wine communication means to them.
“The idea of communicating information in a meaningful and understandable way was a skill honed over many years, beginning with my days as a sommelier. It was essential to success – not only with the guests but with the service staff as well,” says Melissa Monosoff MS.
Four wine communicators, including one regular contributor to The Buyer, have been shortlisted for this year’s IWSC Wine Communicator trophy. The award is sponsored by Vinitaly and recognises a professional whose communication skills have made an exceptional contribution towards increasing public awareness and interest in wine over the past 12 months. Applications were taken from across the worlds of publishing, journalism, broadcasting and education, before a panel of experts narrowed the entries down to four top communicators. This year is the first to have an all-female shortlist.
The winner will be announced at the IWSC awards ceremony, being broadcast on YouTube on 18 November, and will follow in the footsteps of last year’s Wine Communicator, Madeline Puckette, the co-founder of wine education company Wine Folly. Past title holders include Tom Cannavan, Joe Wadsack, Tyson Stelzer, Jane Parkinson and Jancis Robinson MW.
Meet this year’s nominees:
Nina Caplan is an award-winning author and wine, travel and arts journalist, as well as a speaker, editor, consultant and editor.
“I have made it my mission to bring the pleasures of this magical drink to a hitherto unengaged audience: the people who ‘don’t know much but know what they like’; who think talking about wine is boring; and that caring about what you drink is only for snobs,” Caplan says.
Alongside her two long-standing columns in The New Statesman and Times Luxx, Caplan writes features for publications on three different continents, including a regular column for Club Oenologique, plus National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Time Out Montreal, and Gourmet Traveller Wine. Find out more
“For me, working in wine is a form of service to the larger community. The Wine Communicator 2020 award would grant me the opportunity to serve to an even larger, more prestigious audience,” Chukan Brown says.
She has written at length and with authority on the wines of North America and New Zealand. Beyond writing, Chukan Brown has been a celebrated keynote speaker for events in wine and philosophy and has also appeared in wine-centred video content. Find out more
Anne Krebiehl MW grew up in Germany and attended Birbeck College, University of London, an institution specialising in evening courses to providing students, like Krebiehl, with an education to fit around their working lives.
“The early years were hard, very hard, because I was insecure, shy, riddled with imposter syndrome and it was so, so hard to make a living. But all that has changed now and I am thrilled to be so active and to be living the dream,” says Krebiehl.
Her wine writing has since found an audience in Wine Enthusiast, The World of Fine Wine, TheBuyer.net, Decanter and Falstaff, while she recently published her first book “The Wines of Germany.” which this year has already won an award for Wine Book of the Year. Find out more
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Melissa Monosoff MS honed her communication skills at the top restaurants of Philadelphia as a cook, sommelier, bartender and beverage director. Monosoff earned her Master Sommelier Diploma in 2010; she is the 17th woman in the world to hold this title.
“The idea of communicating information in a meaningful and understandable way was a skill honed over many years, beginning with my days as a sommelier. It was essential to success – not only with the guests but with the service staff as well,” Monosoff says. Find out more
The winner of the Wine Communicator of the Year will be announced at the IWSC 2020 Awards Ceremony on 18 November. This year, IWSC is taking the celebration online with a virtual broadcast on YouTube Premiere. It will be filmed at the renowned English wine estate of Ridgeview and will be produced by one of the foremost documentary filmmakers in the UK – a producer who has worked with Pink Floyd, Blur and the Sex Pistols.
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