Wine industry luminaries from around the world will touch down on New York City this Monday January 26th for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 9th Annual Wine Star Awards dinner. The black-tie gala, a virtual Academy Awards of wine held at New York City’s Public Library, honors the year’s movers and shakers in the wine world, those individuals and companies who have made an outstanding contribution to wine and spirits, with special attention to achievements in the year 2008.
This year, Robert Sands, who, as president and CEO of Constellation Brands, helped the company secure a spot in the high-end marketplace by acquiring both Clos du Bois and the Pinot Noir powerhouse Wild Horse, will take the Man of the Year Award while the legendary Italian winemaker Piero Antinori, who famously introduced the world to Tignanello wine, will be honored with 2008’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Other award recipients include: Korbel (for American Winery of the Year); The Boutari Company of Greece (European Winery of the Year); Casa Lapostolle of Chile (New World Winery of the Year); Margo Van Staaveren of Chateau St. Jean Winery (winemaker of the year); Shaw-Ross International (Importer of the Year); The Macallan Distillery of Easter Elchies House, Morayshire, Scotland (Importer of the Year) and Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods (Retailer of the Year). Mendoza, Argentina, i.e. the land of Malbec, will be named Wine Region of the Year while Jean-Charles Boisset, a leader in eco-friendly packaging, will take the award for Innovator of the Year, a new awards category for 2008.
Overall, this year’s Wine Star Awards should contain the usual dosage of glamour and excitement. Introductions will be made by Wine Enthusiast Publisher and CEO, Adam Strum as well as Wine Enthusiast editors, including several flown in from the west coast and Europe. The New York Public Library’s grandiose reception room will provide an elegant backdrop and, naturally, there will be fine food and wine, with many recipients bringing bottles for the occasion.