When you read a great wine review that inspires you to rush out and buy an Australian Pinot Noir or other favourite variety, do you ever think about who is behind the review – that is, who actually penned it? The person who wrote the review may well be what you could call a ‘wine communicator’.
In the wine industry, some people choose to make a career out of being a wine communicator. This might be through writing of reviews, articles, or books, or through digital communications, websites and apps, education and training, or technical / trade writing.
Wine communicators are essential for the wine industry. They provide information to consumers and wine businesses, they conduct research, give talks and presentations, run courses, make videos, and they network and connect with others in the industry.
The annual Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) Wine Communicator Awards give recognition to these talented people. The 2015 finalists have now been announced. Each category has a number of finalists, and we have outlined one finalist from each below – but all of them deserve congratulations!
Overview of some of the 2015 finalists
Category: Digital Wine Communicators
Finalist: Samantha Payne – Samantha makes videos to connect with non-experts about wine in a non-threatening way and to share the stories behind some of Australia’s wines.
Category: Best Wine Publication
Finalist: Gourmet Traveller WINE – this one is Australia’s most-read consumer wine magazine and is highly respected in the industry.
Category: Best Wine Website or App
Finalist: Winesource – a B2B wine online ordering platform with over 1,500 products. Winesource has been noted for how easy it is to use across many different devices.
Category: Best Publication Feature Article
Finalist: Jeni Port – Jeni is a food and wine journalist writes for Gourmet Traveller WINE, the Sydney Morning Herald and other sources. She was the Wine Communicator of the Year winner for 2014.
Category: Best Wine Educator
Finalist: Wine101x – a free, self-paced, six-week online course run through the University of Adelaide and involving world-class teachers.
Category: Best Wine Book
Finalist: Jeremy Oliver’s Wine Annual 2015 – published in both English and Mandarin, this book features more than 14,000 vintages, 1,500 wines and 300 wineries.
Category: Best Technical or Trade Wine Writer
Finalist: Peter McAtamney – Peter produces ‘The Wine Paper’ each month. This free publication tackles issues that are critically important to the wine industry including how the industry is evolving.
There is also a category for ‘New Wine Writer of the Year’ with a number of finalists including Emily Hay and Mark Tucker.
New wine communicators
As well as giving recognition to the wine industry’s communication talents, the awards also enable up-and-coming wine communicators to build a profile and widen their audience. If you love wines and writing and are interested in knowing what it takes to be a wine writer, check out our previous article on this topic.