26th August, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
The International Wine & Spirit Competition has revealed its shortlisted candidates for the title of Blogger of the Year 2014.
Cask Strength, Matching Food and Wine, Matt Walls, Chasing the Vine, and Vine Pair have all made the cut for this year’s award, which is sponsored by González Byass and aims to highlight “inspirational bloggers promoting public awareness in wines and/or spirits over the last 12 months”.
The only spirits blog to make this year’s shortlist, www.caskstrength.blogspot.co.uk, was set up by former music industry A&R duo Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley, who have run this site dedicated to whisky since 2008. Since making this career leap, the pair have become prolific contributors to a number of magazines, books and websites, as well as judging in whisky awards worldwide.
www.matchingfoodandwine.com is the blog run by one of the UK’s top experts on food and drink matching, Fiona Beckett. Currently wine columnist for the Guardian and a contributor to a number of other magazines, she has so far written 23 books on food, wine or beer.
Having started his wine career 12 years ago with an off-licence job in Brighton, Matt Walls now runs his own blog www.mattwalls.co.uk alongside his work as a regular contributor to a number of drinks publications. In 2012 he published his first book, Drink Me! How to choose, taste and enjoy wine.
Lauren Mowery is a former New York lawyer who embarked on a new career as a wine and travel writer. Her blog www.chasingthevine.com runs in tandem with a weekly column for New York website The Village Voice and she is in the process of completing her WSET Diploma.
The final blog on the shortlist is www.vinepair.com, which was set up by Adam Teeter and Joshua Malin. While Teeter has spent the last nine years channeling his wine obsession into making the subject more accessible, cofounder Malin built the website and looks after its e-commerce side.
The winner will be announced at the IWSC Awards Banquet on Wednesday 12 November at the Guildhall in London. Previous winners of this award include Madeline Puckette, co-founder of Wine Folly, Jamie Goode for his blog Wine Anorak and Helen McGinn’s site Knackered Mothers Wine Club.