It is with immense sadness that we pass on the news of the death of Professional du Vin Steven Spurrier and reflect on the enormous contribution he made to the wine trade around the world and the help he gave to our Young Sommeliers Competition.
Firstly, he was a gentleman, quiet, thoughtful, immaculately dressed with tie and silk handkerchief and modestly hiding the huge wealth of knowledge he had built up of the years. He was the embodiment of generating interest in wine and encouraging people to broaden their knowledge. Variously a wine merchant, a writer, a judge and a vigneron.
For years he chaired the Decanter World Wine Awards, he judged at shows all over the world, consulted to airlines such as Singapore Airlines, entertained people at dinners, wrote articles for many publications, then latterly established a vineyard on his wife’s sheep farm in the Bride Valley in Dorset.
His 1976 Judgement of Paris is probably one of the twentieth century’s seminal moments for the wine industry worldwide. The opening of eyes to wines from the new world. Since then wines from around the world have benefitted from the public’s change in perception. This was turned into film named Bottleshock in 2008. Nevertheless his palate stayed in the old world, an acknowledged Bordeaux expert he was particularly fond of Rhone wines.
We first meet when I was working in Paris in the early 70s and my office was across the street from his shop off Place de la Madeleine, and we have remained friends since. In the 80’s he opened a restaurant in the La Defense area of the city and this became a regular lunch spot as it was the first place to offer good wines by the glass – another innovation which has now become commonplace.
He will be much missed and we pass our deepest sympathies to his wife Bella and family Christian and Kate.
|Date posted||March 10, 2021|