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May 30, 2022 View:

Paris judging presenter Steven Spurrier passes away at 79

Steven Spurrier, one of the pioneers of the wine world, presenter of the Paris Judgment and a popular English wine expert among wine enthusiasts, passed away on March 9, 2021, at the age of 79, surrounded by his family.

Image courtesy of: Decanter

The announcement was made on the same day by Acadmie du Vin Library, a wine publisher of which Spurrier is one of the founders.

The short obituary reads: "He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be dearly missed by his family and by wine people around the world. He will always be remembered.

Spurrier's contribution to the world of wine is enormous.

We are best known for the Judgement of Paris, which he initiated in 1976. This blind tasting, which put California wines in the running against the best French wines, had a sensational effect at a time when the Internet was not yet widespread.

At the same time, he is a passionate promoter and author of wine culture, having served for many years as consulting editor-in-chief of Decanter magazine and having written over 300 column articles.

Spurrier was also one of the founders of the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), the world's largest wine competition, and served as head judge for over a decade since the first competition in 2004, until his retirement.

Spurrier also has a strong connection to China. He has visited China many times, and in 2014 and 2015 he personally travelled to Shanghai to lead master classes on Chinese wines with leading Chinese wine experts during the Decanter Wine Encounter Shanghai tasting events.

Many of you who have attended these two events may have met this old expert in the tasting hall, whose suit is always embellished with a square scarf on the chest and gentlemanly demeanor.

In addition, Spurrier is a co-principal judge at the Decanter Asian Wine Awards (DAWA) and has developed a strong bond with Chinese wine professionals and consumers.

Sarah Kemp, former Managing Director of Decanter, describes him as follows: Steven Spurrier's contribution has been instrumental in making Decanter the global presence it is today.

I first met him at a dance in 1990, when I asked him how his job at Harrods was going. With his usual candor, he said: I got fired. I replied: Great. You can come and work with us now.

Spurrier is a consultant editor, tasting expert, columnist, brand ambassador for Decanter magazine and is widely respected and loved by his colleagues. He is also a source of inspiration and a valuable mentor to me.

His deep knowledge of wine and understanding of classic styles, his openness and tolerance of quality wines from outside the traditional appellations have deeply influenced the style of Decanter magazine's reporting, encouraging us to document exciting new developments in the world of wine.

He is one of the soul of Decanter and we will always remember this era that belongs to Spurrier.