The wine world's best and brightest get the recognition they deserve at a New York dinner in their honor.
Wine Stars Shine
Wine Enthusiast Awards Recipients are Honored at Lavish New York City Dinner
On January 26th, Wine Enthusiast Magazine held its fourth annual Wine Star Awards dinner—a black-tie gala dinner for 400 people—at the Powerhouse in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. A portion of the proceeds of the event, honoring 10 leaders in the wine and spirits industry, was donated to fund a wine fellowship at the Culinary Institute of America. The host of the evening was Adam Strum, publisher and editor of the magazine.
There were 50 nominees for the nine wine and spirits award categories, including, for the first time, Importer of the Year and Retailer of the Year. The finalists were selected by the editors of Wine Enthusiast Magazine based on their contributions to the wine and spirits industry in 2003. In addition to these nine categories, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented this year to Ernest and Julio Gallo. The awards were originally announced in the December 15, 2003 issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
"To me, wine is all about family, food and romance," said Jonathan Newman in his speech accepting his award as Man of the Year. Newman, chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, has turned around that state's Prohibition-era legal wine machinery in a very short time.
Several award winners extolled the virtues of entrepreneurship, and recalled their feisty start-up days with fondness. "Amateurs built the ark," commented Bill Deutsch, Importer of the Year, "but professionals built the Titanic."
Christian Porta, president of Chivas Brothers, was reluctant to take sole credit for his company's honor. Accepting the award for Chivas as Distiller of the Year, he commented, "We create a product that is released when it's 12 years old, so it's hard to take credit when you've been on the job four months."
Tables were stocked with the award winners' outstanding wines.
Tom Shelton, Bill Phelps and Vic Motto of Motto Kryla Fisher
Katrin Naelapaa of Wines from Spain with Alvaro Palacios and Christina Jimenez Lamata
Inniskillin co-founder Karl Kaiser, Canadian Consul General Pamela Wallin, and Inniskillin co-founder Donald Ziraldo
Maximilian Riedel and Daniella Behr
Adam Strum congratulates Man of the Year Jonathan Newman.
Adam Strum, Christian Porta and Spirits Tasting Director Paul Pacult
Adam Strum, Bob Gallo and Joseph Gallo
Michael Mondavi, Marcia Mondavi-Borger and Tim Mondavi