The Wine Media Guild of New York established the Wine Writers’ Hall of Fame to recognize and honor, by induction, individuals who have made significant contributions to the body of wine writing and education. Each year, individuals who have had exceptional careers and significant achievements as wine authors, journalists or educators will be nominated and elected by committees of their peers. Consideration is on a global basis.
The 2007 Inductees are: Burton Anderson, Hugh Johnson, Edward McCarthy, Robert Parker, Frank Prial, Jancis Robinson and Kevin Zraly. In addition, in recognition of their influence on wine consumption, sales and writing, two individuals have been inducted posthumously: Alexis Lichine and Frank Schoonmaker.
At the 2008 Annual Dinner of the Wine Media Guild, Inductees will be recognized, and those attending will be presented with certificates. The dinner will take place on Monday, June 16 in New York City. Location and more details will be posted on this website in 2008.
WINE MEDIA GUILD WINE WRITERS’ HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES 2007 (alphabetical order)
Burton Anderson, a native of Minnesota and a former editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris, has lived in Italy for more than 30 years, writing about wine, food and travel. His books include:
Vino, the Wines & Winemakers of Italy (1980) was winner of the Glenfiddich Award for the best book on drink published in the U.K; Burton Anderson’s Guide to the Wines of Italy (and related titles) (1982). Numerous editions have been published in English, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, and Japanese.
The Wine Atlas of Italy (1990). The Atlas was named wine book of the year in the U.S.A. by the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Awards and Clicquot Wine Book competition; in the U.K. by the André Simon Memorial Fund, The Glenfiddich Awards and Decanter magazine, and in Italy the Premio Internazionale Barbi Colombini.
Treasures of the Italian Table (1994) won him the 1995 James Beard Award for Writing on Food. Other books include: Franciacorta, Italy’s Sanctuary of Sparkling Wine (1999); Burton Anderson’s Best Italian Wines, (2001); and Boccadoro, the Honorary Pirate (2007) a novel. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Food & Wine, the Quarterly Review of Wines, GQ and Decanter.
The younger son of a London lawyer, Hugh Johnson acquired a taste for wine at Cambridge University, at age 21 became wine correspondent of London Vogue and at age 23 of The Sunday Times [‘‘There was not much competition on those days.’’] and editor of Wine &Food. In 1966 at age 27, his first book, Wine, was published in London and New York. After spells as Travel Editor of The Sunday Times and as a travel correspondent of The New York Times, he edited Queen Magazine (1968-70). His World Atlas of Wine was published in 1971. The 6th edition (co-authored with Jancis Robinson) appeared in 2007. Subsequent books include The International Book of Trees (1973), The California Wine Book (with Bob Thompson, 1976), The Principles of Gardening (1979), Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion (1983/5th ed. 2004), How to Enjoy Your Wine (1986), The Story of Wine (1989), The Pop-Up Wine Book (1989), The Art and Science of Wine (with James Halliday, 1992), Tuscany and its Wines (2000), and his memoirs A Life Uncorked (2005).
Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine has appeared annually since 1977 and his monthly gardening diary under the pen-name Tradescant since 1975. In 1989 he hosted a 13 part TV series Vintage, The Story of Wine for KQED. He lives in Essex, England and London with his wife Judy. They have three children, Lucy, Red and Kitty (who is author of Wine – a Woman’s Guide).
Ed McCarthy is a wine writer, Certified Wine Educator and wine consultant. He is co-author (with Mary Ewing-Mulligan) of Wine For Dummies — one of the largest-selling wine books with over one million copies sold. It has been translated into 23 languages and nominated for a James Beard award. The 4th edition of Wine For Dummies appeared in 2006.
Ed McCarthy is considered the leading Champagne authority in the U.S. His book, Champagne for Dummies (1999), was nominated for the James Beard Award as best wine book of the year.
Ed and Mary also co-authored White Wine For Dummies, Red Wine For Dummies, Wine Buying Companion For Dummies, French Wine For Dummies and Italian Wine For Dummies. Their non-“for Dummies” wine book, Wine Style (2005) helps readers discover which style of wine suits them best.
Ed is the wine columnist for Nation’s Restaurant News and Contributing Editor for Beverage Media. In addition, his articles have appeared in Decanter and the Quarterly Review of Wines (QRW). Ed also has a regular, bi-weekly wine column in the on-line wine publication, winereviewonline.com.
In addition to his writing, Ed McCarthy is a regular guest speaker at wine events. He has been a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the U.S. He is also regularly judges wine competitions in the U.S. and abroad, and travels extensively to the world’s wine regions to research new wines.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland. For over ten years he was an Attorney, and later an Assistant General Counsel for the Farm Credit Banks of Baltimore. In 1984 he resigned his position to devote full attention to wine writing.
In addition to writing and tasting for The Wine Advocate, which has over 50,000 subscribers, Mr. Parker is a contributing editor of Food and Wine Magazine and Business Week. He has also written for the English magazine The Field and has been the wine critic for France’s L’Express magazine, the first time a non-Frenchman has held this position. In 2002, he founded erobertparker.com, which has become the number one visited website on wine, according to data registered by Alexia.com. Since 2006, he has written a weekly column for the highly respected American magazine Business Week
Mr. Parker has written fourteen books on wine that have been best sellers not only in the United States, but in translated versions in nine countries. In 2005, Simon & Schuster published Robert Parker’s most recent book, The World’s Greatest Wine Estates: A Modern Perspective.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. Is the only wine writer/critic in history to be given the highest Presidential Honors by two French presidents and an Italian President. The Los Angeles Times referred to him as “a fierce champion of the wine consumer,” “the most powerful critic of any kind, any where,” and “a sensualist, passionate lover of wine, who is largely responsible for the vastly improved quality of wines made throughout the western world and for the exponential growth in interest, knowledge, and sophistication of those who drink wine.”
Frank J. Prial (1930-2012)
Frank J. Prial created “Wine Talk,” the New York Times wine column, in 1972 and except for two periods on other assignments, wrote it weekly until his retirement in 2005. For ten years, he wrote a companion column on wine for the Times Sunday Magazine and, for twelve years created a five-nights-a-week radio program on wine for Station WQXR. He also was The Times’s New Jersey restaurant critic for over a decade. At various times during his career, he filled in for the paper’s chief restaurant critics, including Bryan Miller, Mimi Sheraton and William Grimes.
Frank Prial is the author of three books on wine: Wine Talk, published by Times Books in 1978 and Decantations, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2001 (both compilations of his columns). His Companion to Wine appeared simultaneously in the United States, Great Britain and France in 1992. With Jancis Robinson, he appeared in a 26-part series on wine tasting on the Food Network, and his articles have appeared in major publications in this country and Europe. His honors include two James Beard Foundation Awards for Excellence and membership in the French Legion of Honor. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Columbia University School of Journalism.
Jancis Robinson is one of a handful of wine communicators with an international reputation. She writes daily for her website, jancisrobinson.com, weekly for the Financial Times, and does a bi-monthly column that is syndicated on every continent. She is Editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd ed. 2006) and co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine (6th ed. 2007). Each of these books is recognized as a standard reference worldwide. She has won about 50 awards in seven countries, notably the US and including two James Beard Awards.
An award-winning TV presenter, she is invited to tutor wine tastings and to act as a wine judge all over the world. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.
Kevin Zraly celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2006 as the founder and teacher of the popular Windows on the World Wine School that has graduated over 18,000 students since its inception. He has been teaching wine since the age of 20 and has studied wine-making techniques in California and all the great wine regions of Europe.
Acclaimed as the creator of the famous wine list at Windows on the World (which sold more wine than any restaurant in the United States), he also designed the training program for what was ranked as the most knowledgeable wine-service staff in America. His Windows on the World Complete Wine Course has sold over 2.5 million copies.
The recipient of the James Beard Award as Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year and the Food and Beverage Association’s Man of the Year Award, Kevin is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Culinary Institute of America and has been featured in The New York Times, People magazine, The Wall Street Journal , GQ magazine, Newsweek, and USA Today, among others. Kevin has co-hosted the Food Network’s “Wine A to Z. His charisma, engagingly breezy style, and love of wine captivate everyone he teaches.
Alexis Lichine was born in Russia just before the revolution and found himself in France in 1933. He became interested in wine and toured the French wine regions for his education. In the late 1950s he introduced the concept of domaine bottling of burgundies to ensure authenticity.
He then switched his interest to Bordeaux, buying the winery of classed growth Château Lascombes with a consortium and creating his own négociant firm, Alexis Lichine & Co. In 1951 he bought his own cru classé, Château Prieuré-Lichine.
In Bordeaux wine politics he was a voice of common sense. But his interests were not confined to Bordeaux. He was the first person to introduce California wines east of the Rockies. So well known was he in the US and in France that he was dubbed “The Pope of Wine.” His three books, Wines of France, Alexis Lichine’s Guide to the Wines and vineyards of France, and his monumental Encyclopedia of Wines and Spirits have become standard works, renowned for their breadth of knowledge and experience, their perspicacity and accuracy. Both works appear in eight languages, and the Guide is even published in Japanese.
No one has done more than Alexis Lichine to increase the knowledge and enjoyment of good wines around the world. He was based in Bordeaux and New York, but his interests and enthusiasm encompassed the entire world of wine.
Frank Schoonmaker (1905-1976)
Fank Schoonmaker was born on August 20, 1905 in Spearfish, South Dakota. He never took a course in winemaking; never went to business school, never finished college or even apprenticed in another wine importing company before founding his own firm. He was completely self-taught.
Like many of his generation, he came of age during prohibition, but correctly judged that it would soon blow over, and laid plans to form his own wine importing company at the time of repeal.
In 1935, two years after the end of prohibition, Frank Schoonmaker started his business, Frank Schoonmaker Selections. But America in 1935 was woefully ignorant about wine. Largely because of prohibition, but also because of preference for cocktails as drinks, there was practically no literature available on wine. So, with New York Herald Tribune columnist Tom Marvel, Schoonmaker wrote a general interest book about wine, called The Complete Wine Book. Short, concise and to the point, it was written in narrative form and was regarded as a minor classic in its day, although Schoonmaker later confessed that it was not until many years later “that I realized just how incomplete it was.”
Interestingly, he interviewed and hired Alexis Lichine for the job of national sales manager — the beginning of one of history’s greatest wine alliances. During the next forty years, Schoonmaker traveled most of the world’s major wine districts, made his selections and then identified them with a distinctive green neck label: “Frank Schoonmaker Selections.” For a generaton of American wine drinkers this label came to represent an outstanding bottle of wine
With World War II on the horizon, the two visited several California properties to build up other sources of wine. They convinced the owners of many of the best wineries to label their wines after the grape variety, not with a generic name like “claret,” or “chablis.” They called these wines “varietals.”
After Pearl Harbor, Schoonmaker was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services, (O.S.S), which brought in highly educated men to act as secret agents overseas, where their skills in foreign languages and cultures would be invaluable in securing information about Hitler’s war plans. He was wounded when his Jeep hit a landmine near Lyon, France. At war’s end he was ultimately discharged with the rank of Colonel — hence his nickname in much of Europe, ‘’Le Colonel.’’
Frank Schoonmaker’s book, Wines of Germany, was first published in 1956. After that, his next project was to distill his broad knowledge of wine into an encyclopedic dictionary, The Encyclopedia of Wine – an amplification of the original Complete Wine Book. Writing it essentially on his own while he attended to his import business, he completed it in 1964.
Frank Schoonmaker played a major role in shaping the destiny of the American wine industry. His impact on the industry and on several generations of drinkers is profound.
(drawn from ‘’Frank Schoonmaker, Visionary Wine Man’’ by Frank Johnson, a member of the Wine Media Guild)