Tag Archives: Hyde Park

The International Wine Challenge 2013 Awards Dinner & 30th Anniversary Summer Ball – London


We arrived to a hot, sticky London evening in search of our hotel in Pimlico, which we found just in time as we discovered that one of our tyres was punctured by a large screw and was quickly going flat.

We moved into our pink, basement, shoebox sized room that resembled the inside of an oven. After failed attempts to manage the temperature and create some kind of airflow in the room, we resigned ourselves to the fact we would just have to swelter. So we put our minds to planning our stay in London.

We have forgotten to mention that we acquired three vines in Devon, our ‘Pinot Passengers’, which would be coming home with us to hopefully grow in our porch, aka the cats toilet (incidentally he does use a litter tray and is very proper about his toilet habits). We thought it fitting that he should have a few Pinot Noir grapes dangling above his head and hopefully he will agree.  Before retiring to bed, Kel popped out to the car to water our precious commodity, which we hoped wouldn’t be mistaken for a more “exotic” type of plant. IMG_0395 The following day, after sorting the flat tyre out, we escaped any further baking in our room by spending a few hours relaxing in the sun in Hyde Park, along with most other people in London who had the same idea.


The awards dinner was held at Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane and is the result of a lengthy process of identifying those wines from the thousands judged from around the world that are considered to be the best. The Awards Dinner is also a platform for celebrating and recognising businesses as well as individual personalities within the wine trade who have achieved great success. Well done to everyone involved!

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This year’s dinner was all the more important as it celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Challenge, since it’s beginnings in 1984 founded by Robert Joseph and Charles Metcalfe. Many well known individual “wine celebrities” enjoyed the Awards Dinner as well as the odd non-wine related celeb, who have a keen interest in wine, such as Mick Hucknell of Simply Red fame.

It was good for us to meet up once again with familiar faces from our time working on the IWC Crew back in April, when all the judging took place at Lords Cricket Ground, and we enjoyed sharing a glass (or two) of Trophy Award winning wine.

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Also receiving an award that evening was long standing IWC Crew Member John, who has amazingly worked for 25 years as part of the team. Here he is proudly receiving his own trophy: IMG_0272 It was a fantastic evening and a wonderful way to see the fruits of all the hard labour that has gone into the IWC year. Now the process begins all over again for IWC 2014 … Bring it on!!!