André Simon award shortlist announced

Simon Woolf’s book on orange wines and Oz Clarke’s reminiscences on the wines he loves are among the drinks books shortlisted for this year’s André Simon award.

The 40th year of the awards has produced a “bumper” crop of books according to chairman Nicholas Lander.

Every year the awards recognises the best books focused on food and drinks topics and this year there were more than 150 submissions, whittled down to nine food books and six drinks tomes.

The independent assessors this year were Meera Sodha on the food side of the judging and Victoria Moore for drinks.

The drinks books shortlisted this year are:

Simon Woolf’s Amber Revolution on the rise, fall and rise of ‘orange’ wines from ancient to modern times; Oz Clarke’s Red & White about the wines and regions that have most made their mark on his long career; Flawless by Jamie Goode which explores wine faults from cork taint to volatile acidity via brett and more; The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay which explores the taste profile of European wines region by region; Alex Maltman’s Vineyards, Rocks and Soils exploring the impact of geology on wine and, away from the usual alcohol focus, Michael Freeman and Tomothy D’Offay’s Life of Tea, looking at every aspect of this fascinating drink.

Moore said of the drinks shortlist this year: “The shortlisted authors bring a panoply of talents to the writing table. Among them are writers steeped in the disciplines of wine science, and geology; a photographer who has captured the landscapes and people of the world’s finest tea-producing regions; and great storytellers with the power to draw in even a reader who might not think he or she wanted to read a book about wine.”

Among those books shortlisted for the food category are works on the produce of the Shetland Islands, the culinary cultures surrounding the Black Sea, the role of the main ingredient in every meal, the story of a century old pie and mash shop in London and an Italian food travelogue.

Sodha commented: “This year’s crop of books is electric. In the shortlist are travelogues to inspire trips to eat your way around The Black Sea and Italy. There’s food writing on menus and on how ingredients behave which will enthral, educate (and steal your time away). Best of all there are recipes from all over the world: Vietnam to the Shetlands and from the women of Grenfell – all of which make me want to run into the kitchen and start cooking immediately.”

Lander commented: “This has been a bumper year for the André Simon awards. The shortlist features established food and drink figures, including Diana Henry and Oz Clarke, alongside first-time authors Ben Lebus and James and Tom Morton. The diverse publications range from a portrait of a pie and mash restaurant in East London to an exquisitely photographed homage to the world’s finest teas. This reflects a vibrant and dynamic food and drink book industry which our awards have been celebrating for 40 years. The shortlist provides fantastic ideas for Christmas stockings, having been whittled down from 150 strong entries.”

The full shortlists:

Shortlisted Food Books 2018

Black Sea Caroline Eden Quadrille Publishing
First, Catch Thom Eagle Quadrille Publishing
How to Eat a Peach Diana Henry Mitchell Beazley
Lateral Cooking Niki Segnit Bloomsbury Publishing
MOB Kitchen Ben Lebus Pavilion Books
Pasta, Pane, Vino Matt Goulding Hardie Grant Publishing
Pie and Mash Down the Roman Road Melanie McGrath Two Roads
Shetland James & Tom Morton Quadrille Publishing
Together The Hubb Community Kitchen Ebury Press

 

Shortlisted Drink Books 2018

Amber Revolution Simon J Woolf Morning Claret Productions
Flawless Jamie Goode University of California Press
Red & White Oz Clarke Little Brown Book Group
The Life of Tea Michael Freeman & Timothy D’Offay Mitchell Beazley
The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay Ten Speed Press
Vineyards, Rocks and Soils Alex Maltman Oxford University Press

 

2 Responses to “André Simon award shortlist announced”

  1. Kent Benson says:

    In my opinion, Maltman’s book is the most original, revealing, important, and hopefully influential book about wine in at least the last two decades. One can only hope that his work will have some impact on the fanciful, completely unscientific and unsubstantiated attributions of wine flavors and aromas on soils, so common in what passes as authoritative wine writing today.

  2. Kent, when you read another shortlisted book, Jamie Goode’s “Flawless”, you will read an interesting assertion (made initially by Sam Harrop, I think) that so-called “minerality” in wine is real, BUT that rather than some product of “soil to glass transfer”, it is actually the result of aspects of reduction, ie it comes from the winery, not the vineyard. It’s a view accepted by many, I think. This will disappoint romantics, but will satisfy those who detect an identifiable (and often positive) wine trait for which “mineral” is an apt sensory descriptor, if not a scientifically accurate one..

    I think it’s a very strong field here. There are three, perhaps even four, very worthy potential winners (and I’ve not read the other two!). I made Amber Revolution my wine book of the year in my Christmas Review, but I have only just read Jamie Goode’s book (review about to be published).

    The only down side of Alex Maltman’s book (someone whose science I respect a great deal) is the message…that geology has little impact on wine. It might be just too upsetting for some wine lovers, and particularly some European wine experts.

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