A Luminous Wine Star Awards Evening

A Luminous Wine Star Awards Evening

Wine industry luminaries congregated at the historic New York Public Library for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 12th annual Wine Star Awards ceremony on Monday night, January 30, 2012. The black-tie gala, which celebrates the most impressive achievements in the world of wine, food and spirits, attracted a crowd of the industry’s most innovative and respected.

Nearly 500 guests arrived in the Library’s majestic lobby for an opening cocktail reception. After tasting a vast selection of wines, spirits and hand-crafted cocktails, attendees descended the white marble staircase into the Celeste Bartos Forum, where a four-course dinner and the awards ceremony were held. Adam Strum, Chairman of Wine Enthusiast Companies and editor and publisher of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, welcomed all by praising the industry’s tremendous accomplishments and offered an honorary toast to wine industry pioneer Jess Jackson, who passed away in April 2011.

Chef Michael Mina, recipient of the Restaurateur of the Year WSA.The winners of the special Generations of Innovation award, Georg Josef and Maximilian Josef Riedel, were the evening’s first recipients; the award highlights the contributions that their revolutionary stemware has made to the industry. Charlotte Voisey followed, accepting the Mixologist of the Year Wine Star Award, and expressed the impact the honor will have on both the cocktail culture and future mixologists.

Chef Michael Mina, who was given the Restaurateur of the Year WSA for his virtuosity in creating balanced dishes that pair seamlessly with wine, thanked celebrated wine director Rajat Parr for his guidance and inspiration in designing more wine-friendly menus in all of Mina’s establishments. During Chris Indelicato's acceptance of the American Man of the Year WSA for DFV Wines, he noted how the award was a milestone for the family-owned winery.

More highlights of the night included Guillermo Luksic, chairman of Chile's Viña San Pedro, graciously receiving the New World Winery of the Year WSA and Gérard Bertrand taking home the award for European Winery of the Year. When Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates took the stage to receive the American Winery of the Year WSA, she noted how she felt fortunate to be a part of a family that values both quality and hard work.  Later in the evening, Bob Cabral of Williams Selyem, Winemaker of the Year, spoke of sacrifice and the importance of balancing family and career.

David S. Taub of Palm Bay International was the final award recipient of the night. Introduced with a short, playful video depicting Taub in a high-speed car chase—a nod to his professional and personal drive—the Lifetime Achievement award winner explained how there are rewards for people who are in the industry for the long term, those who lay the foundation for future generations.

The evening concluded with soft jazz and a nightcap; guests revisited their favorite sips one last time before exiting the Library into the chilly Manhattan night.

For more information on the 2011 Wine Star Award Winners, click here.

For more pictures from the 2011 Wine Star Award Ceremony, watch the slide show below.

Published on January 31, 2012