On January 28, over 360 winemakers, distributors, executives, journalists and other luminaries of the wine world convened at New York City’s Public Library for Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards Dinner. Wine Enthusiast annually honors outstanding achievements in the wine and spirits industries; the gala has become the most exciting and important evening for the wine industry. Guests gather in the library’s magnificent front hall for a walk-around tasting of exceptional wines, and then are seated in the Celeste Bartos Forum for the dinner and program.
Adam Strum, publisher and editor in chief, acted as master of ceremonies for the evening, while Wine Enthusiast ‘s editors took the podium to introduce various of the winners. Speakers invoked the importance of teamwork, innovation and tradition in their remarks accepting their awards.
Guests enjoyed a four-course dinner while enjoying live music and the wines and spirits produced by the talented award winners. Among the most sought-after bottles were Carlo Ferrini’s Brancaia 2005, Castello Banfi 1999 Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino, Villa Maria 2006 Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc and a number of Symington portfolio fortified wines, including Warre’s 1970 vintage Port. Capping the list was the 2004 El Puntido from Viñedos De Paganos, number one on The Enthusiast 100, as seen in its Best of Year issue. Not a few winemakers were seen enjoying sips (or shots) of Herradura Tequila as well.
The award winners. Front row, left to right: George Fistonich, founder and owner, new world winery of the year Villa Maria; Carlo Ferrini, winemaker of the year; Man of the Year Ray Chadwick, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines; lifetime achievement award-winner Dr. John Mariani of Banfi Vinters; Geoff Ryan, national wine buyer, Whole Foods, the retailer of the year. Back row: Joe Gallo, president and CEO of importer of the year E. & J. Gallo Winery, Adam Strum, publisher and editor-in-chief, Wine Enthusiast Magazine; Chris Indelicato, president, DFV Wines American winery of the year; Rupert Symington of European Winery of the Year Symington Family Estates; Victor Pasqual, accepting the award for Rioja, Spain, as wine region of the year; Doug Bell, national wine buyer, Whole Foods. Not pictured: Miguel Cedeno, master distiller, Casa Herradura, distiller of the year.
As always, the wines by the award winners were placed on the tables, and the event’s structure encourages people to visit other tables, swap wines and catch up with colleagues.
The award winners were first announced in the December 15, 2007 issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Look for the 2008 nominees in this year’s November issue.
Man of the Year Ray Chadwick with publisher and editor-in-chief Adam Strum.
From left to right: Adam Strum; Isabel Indelicato; Sybil Strum, CEO Wine Enthusiast Companies; Chris Indelicato, president, DFV Wines, American Winery of the Year
The Celeste Bartos Forum
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