(by peter)

A quick post written in bed, the morning after a late night, and before we head off into the maelstrom of Vinitaly (the world’s biggest wine fair, apparently).

We did it!

We are very proud to report that we are the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC) Communicators of the Year 2010.

We received the award last night at the gala dinner to mark the official opening of this five-day event. The award is sponsored by Veronafiere, organisers of Vinitaly (hence its presentation here) – but what better excuse for a few days in the quite delightful surroundings of Verona.

We are chuffed to bits.

Not only because this is a very prestigious award, with a list of previous winners including the likes of Jancis Robinson, Hugh Johnson, Andrew Jefford, Tim Atkin and Oz Clarke.

What is fantastic for us is that, for the first time in its history, the award is a joint one.

This means a great deal to us, because it is the foundation on which our work is built. This site, the wine school and so much of what we do with wine and food is a joint effort, so it was absolutely brilliant to be nominated separately but recognised jointly.

In due course, we’ll be writing more about Vinitaly, Verona and the award night (which involved jesters, trumpet fanfares and a bizarre 15-course dinner, every single course of which was either pasta or couscous – including pudding…)

But for now we’d like to say a few well deserved thank-yous which, owing to the brilliantly chaotic organisation on the night, we didn’t get to make as we had hoped.

  • Firstly, and most importantly, to our parents. Whether it’s babysitting, wise guidance or all-round love and support, they have been ceaselessly supportive, unremittingly generous and just bloody brilliant really. Quite simply we couldn’t do what we do without them. We are incredibly lucky to have such amazing parents. Thank you.
  • To Tony Sephton, our web designer at Hype London: you are a star. Tony is a thoughtful, exceptionally talented and very patient man – even though we tested his patience to the limit during the creation of this site…But he’s still speaking to us and we’re thrilled with how it’s all come together. We are so glad to have met Tony and be working with him now. The judges commented on the quality and originality of the site: so take a bow, Tony.
  • Andy Clarke at Cactus Productions regularly features on this site, in both photos and words, because he is the man that Susie and I regularly film with (he’s the director) for Saturday Kitchen. As well as being incredibly hard-working and gifted in the directing department, Andy is one of the loveliest men you could meet. He very kindly supplied the judges with show-reels for both Susie and I at the last minute (when we were flying to New Zealand), a labour of love for which we are eternally grateful. (There were also others who kindly helped out in this regard, whose identities we don’t yet know, but will endeavour to find out and thank as soon as possible.)
  • David Kelly at the IWSC also deserves a huge vote of thanks. David very kindly helped us put together our portfolio for the award at the last minute (that trip to New Zealand again) and for this we are immensely thankful to him.
  • Thanks are also due to the IWSC itself, to those who nominated us and the judges who chose us, and the sponsors of the award, Veronafiere. This means a great deal to us and we appreciate it immensely.

I think we might have to celebrate with another ice cream in the piazza…