It takes a village to make a Hall of Famer
The Culinary Institute of America just announced its new Vintners Hall of Fame inductees, and the names should be familiar to everyone in the California wine industry: Gerald Asher, Jack and Jamie Davies, Jess Jackson (never heard of him), Carole Meredith, Justin Meyer and Warren Winiarski.
Every magazine and every non-profit and for-profit wine organization seems to have an awards or hall of fame-type thing going on these days. I suppose it’s possible for someone to win 5 or 6 of these a year, which would require a special wall to put up all the plaques. One of these days, someone — Tom Wark? — is going to have to start a “Best American Wine Awards of the Year” competition. My own magazine, Wine Enthusiast, just announced our own 2008 Wine Star Awards, and they include some formidable names.
It’s easy to honor greatness, accomplishment and longevity, but we should also have some recognition of those behind-the-scenes folks who make it all happen every day: the cellar rats and field workers, accountants and secretaries, P.R. folks and salespeople without whom the wine industry would come to a screeching halt. I know that everyone who’s ever won an award feels the same way.