US TV wine series host is Communicator of the Year
Emmy award-winning wine writer, educator and broadcaster Karen MacNeil has been named International Wine & Spirit Competition’s 2008 Communicator of the Year.
The award is given to the individual who the industry panel decides has contributed the most to consumer communication on wines or spirits over the preceding 12 months. Karen, from the US, was acknowledged, according to IWSC marketing manager Lesley Gray, ‘For a prodigious wine-writing career which spans 30 years, however, more than this, it was her work in 2007 that particularly separated her from the other finalists.’
Karen, who is author of The Wine Bible, is host of a TV wine series, Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, which went nationwide across America last year. She also wrote and launched a wine studies course for a network of cookery schools and initiated and organised a week-long residential course on wine education in the Napa Valley. Beyond this, said Lesley, ‘There was the production of an annual wine calendar, books and lectures. It was an astonishing amount of work and we are hoping that we might now see more of her writings and film-work here in Europe.’
On collecting the trophy Karen said, ‘Over the last three decades I have worked extremely hard to communicate the pleasures of wine to the largest possible audience of consumers. In 2007, that lifetime of work came together in numerous initiatives that I hope will further the culture of drinking the world’s most compelling beverage.’
Other journalists short-listed for this year’s award included Jamie Goode, Olly Smith, James Halliday and Natalie MacLean.
Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson MW, Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke and Matthew Jukes are among previous winners.
And if all this wine communicating wasn’t enough for Karen, she also co-owns Fife Vineyards in Napa Valley with her husband Dennis.