Bourne again wine accolade

Seeing a continual mountain of empty wine bottles neatly stacked outside a gentleman’s pad does not always signify the digs of a dipsomaniac.

These mounds were the constant adornment of the grass median strip outside the house of Peter Bourne – aka ‘The Wine Man’ – when he lived opposite my mother’s home a decade or so ago. The sheer quantity of his tinted glass deposits were noted before I observed the often exotic nature of Bacchus’ gift.

Someone was drinking in fine style – and drinking lots – or so circumstantial evidence would indicate. It was only when I saw the distinctive polished dome of Peter Bourne disappearing into the house that I twigged.

I first met Bourne in the late 70’s when he ran The Peter Bourne Wine Emporium. It was a mecca for a decent bottle and informed and uncomplicated information at a time when specialist bottle shops were thin on the ground. As a full time wine consultant he is a wine judge, has co-authored a book on food and wine matching, is a regular contributor to magazines and runs private and corporate wine courses.

Already the winner of the prestigious Vin de Champagne Award and a member of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastvin, this steadfast dedication to the grape paid off again for Bourne last week. At the annual Wine Communicators Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Lunch, Peter Bourne was jointly presented with The Australian Wine Communicator of the Year Award.

He won the gong for ‘Excellence in Wine Communication and the Bettering of the Australian Wine Industry’ – within Australia. His co-winner, Wine Australia’s Paul Henry, won for similar excellence but at an international level.

The joint accolade was deliberated on by the award’s judges: Jancis Robinson OBE MW, leading wine scribe James Halliday and President of Wine Communicators Australia, Rob Hirst.

At the presentation James Halliday said: “Peter Bourne has the gift of demystifying wine and thus speaking clearly to the precise group the industry needs to target: not the converted, but those whose interest can be captured and developed to the point where they understand fine wine and unwittingly become ambassadors for its cause”.

Bourne has put in decades of hard yards, layers of tooth enamel – and doubtless a few liver cells in the wine education arena – his award was a most worthy of a win.

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