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March 15, 2022updated 05 Jun 2023 3:37pm

André Simon Awards: WFW writers take top drinks book prizes

By The World of Fine Wine Team

Contributors to The World of Fine Wine took the two available awards for drinks books at this year’s André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards.

The prestigious annual awards, which were presented at an online awards ceremony featuring guests from all over the world earlier this month, saw Jasper Morris MW take the overall Drinks Book award for the second edition of his Inside Burgundy (published by Berry Bros & Rudd Press) while Amanda Barnes picked up the John Avery Award for The South America Wine Guide (The South America Wine Guide).

Morris’ win represents an unusual double triumph: The first edition of Inside Burgundy won the same award when it was published in 2010. The second edition, which has been substantially overhauled and updated, runs to 800 pages with profiles of more than 1,200 vineyards, 300 wine villages, and 700 domaines.

Barnes’ book, meanwhile, is her debut, but is similarly comprehensive, covering producers in 70 wine regions in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, and the fruit of a decade of research and interviews across South America.

“For Burgundy lovers there is nothing comparable anywhere in the world of publishing,” said the awards’ independent assessor for drinks books, Rose Murray-Brown MW, of Inside Burgundy. “This seminal work is a highly impressive, extremely well-produced reference book and the most authoritative guide to this fragmented region.”

The South America Wine Guide is a strikingly colorful tome with a refreshing visual format heralding a new era in ‘wine travel’ books. It is a very impressive first book from a young writer, with beautifully descriptive prose and breath-taking images highlighting the raw beauty of this dramatic continent,” Murray-Brown added.

The two drinks books were joined on the virtual winners’ rostrum by two from the world of food. Dee Rettali’s Baking with Fortitude (Bloomsbury Publishing) took the Food Award, while Dan Saladino’s Eating to Extinction (Jonathan Cape) earned a Special Commendation.

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The winners beat off a strong shortlist that featured Rachel Roddy (An A-Z of Pasta, Fig Tree), Ruth Nieman (Freekeh—Wild Wheat & Ancient Grains, Prospect Books), Mark Diacono (Herb, Quadrille), Yasmin Khan (Ripe Figs, Bloomsbury Publishing), Mandy Yin (Sambal Shiok, Quadrille), Simon J Woolf & Ryan Opaz (Foot Trodden, Morning Claret Productions), Matt Walls (Wines of the Rhône, Infinite Ideas).

The decisions were made, after consultation with the assessors (Yemisi Aribisala assessed the food books), by the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards’ trustees: Nicholas Lander (chair), Sarah Jane Evans MW, David Gleave MW, and Xanthe Clay.

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