All you need to know on one page:

Biography in brief

Andrew Jefford, the son of a vicar and eldest of three brothers, grew up in Norfolk. He studied English at the University of Reading and pursued post-graduate studies with Malcolm Bradbury at the University of East Anglia before working as an editor for Paul Hamlyn’s Octopus group.

In the late 1980s he got the chance to combine a passion for wine and for writing, and since then he has worked as a freelance drinks journalist and broadcaster, in particular for the Evening Standard and for BBC Radio Four. He has written twelve books and guides including the widely admired The New France and, in autumn 2004, Peat Smoke and Spirit. Autumn 2008 saw the publication of Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course. During 2009, Andrew was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, and served as Wine Writer in Residence to the Wine 2030 Research Network. He has won a number of distinctions for his work, including eight Glenfiddich Awards and six Roederer Awards.

Career in brief

Since graduating Andrew has been a research student (1979-81), a publishing editor (1983-88), a freelance journalist, an author and photographer (1988-present) and a freelance radio presenter (1995-present). He is also a one-time coffee-bar storeman (Butlins), milkman, garage worker, fruit picker, waiter, wine-shop worker and TV chef’s assistant.

Newspaper, magazine and on-line publications

  • Drink correspondent of The Evening Standard 1992-2002
  • Columnist at various times for Waitrose Food Illustrated, The Field, Off-Licence News, EatSoup, The Morning Advertiser,
  • Columnist at present for Decanter, The World of Fine Wine
  • Contributing editor to Decanter, The World of Fine Wine
  • Freelance contributions to:
  • The Financial Times (70+),The Times, The Guardian, Scotland on Sunday, WINE, Decanter, World of Fine Wine, Gourmet Traveller Wine (Australia and New Zealand), Which? Wine Monthly, The Spectator, Time Out, BBC Good Food, Radio Times, The Yorkshire Post, Food and Wine, Lightbox, Candis, What’s Brewing?, Sovereign, The Illustrated London News, The Auction Magazine, Where London Magazine, British Airways High Life, Food and Travel Magazine, P&O Orient Express Magazine, Harper’s Wine & Spirit Gazette, Morning Advertiser, Brewers’ Guardian, Wine & Spirit International, Ewer Baa-red, The Wine Review of France
  • Electronic contributions to:,,,,
  • Poems published in The Spectator and The Independent

Book publications

  • ‘Dr Jekyll and Professor Nabokov: Reading a Reading’, published in Robert Louis Stevenson (critical essays), ed. Andrew Noble (1983)
  • Port: an essential guide to the classic drink (Merehurst 1988)
  • Which? Wine Guide 1991 (Consumers’ Association)
  • The Wines of Germany (Mitchell Beazley 1994)
  • The Evening Standard Wine Guide 1996 (Pavilion)
  • The Evening Standard Wine Guide 1997 (Evening Standard Books)
  • Smokes (Evening Standard Books 1997)
  • One Hundred And One Things You Need To Know About Wine (Simon & Schuster 1998)
  • Wine Tastes, Wine Styles (Ryland, Peters & Small 2000)
  • The New France (Mitchell Beazley 2002)
  • After-Dinner Drinks (Ryland, Peters & Small 2003)
  • Choosing Wine (Ryland, Peters & Small 2003; edited version of Wine Tastes, Wine Styles)
  • Peat Smoke and Spirit: A Portrait of Islay and its Whiskies (Headline, November 2004)
  • ‘The Art and Craft of Wine’ (with Paul Draper) in Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine, ed. Barry Smith (Oxford University Press 1997)
  • Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course (Ryland, Peters & Small 2008)
  • ‘Scotch Whisky: From Origins to Conglomerates’ in Whiskey and Philosophy: A Small Batch of Spirited Ideas, ed. Fritz Allhoff and Marcus P.Adams (Wiley 2009)

Radio work

  • The Food Programme, BBC Radio Four: contributed to many programmes, and presented c. 50 programmes, 1992-present: see recent programmes below.
  • The Liquid Companion (drink series, BBC Radio Three) 1996
  • Naked Beauties (two programmes on cigars, BBC Radio Three) 1998
  • Nature’s Alchemists (drink series, BBC Radio Three) 1999
  • The Nightingale Hunt (experimental radio, BBC Radio Four) 1999
  • An Englishman In Search of a Tea Ceremony (series, BBC Radio Four) 2000
  • Liquid Companion (drink series, BBC Radio Four) summer 2000
  • The Sporting Life (interval feature, BBC Radio Three) September 2000
  • A Year In An English Vineyard (series, BBC Radio Four) February 2001
  • The Whisky Route (feature, BBC Radio Four) March 2001
  • Liquid Companion (drink series, BBC Radio Four) June-July 2001
  • Winners and Losers (interval feature, BBC Radio Three) October 2001
  • Beginning a Wine Collection (five 15-minute inserts to You & Yours, BBC Radio Four) December 2001
  • The Wine Programme (with Oz Clarke), series one March-April 2005
  • Pick of the Week, 29th May 2005
  • Pick of the Week, 4th June 2006
  • The Food Programme, BBC Radio Four
  • English Sparkling Wine, July 2008
  • Eastern European wine, July 2007
  • China Tea, June 2007
  • Fermentation and Maturation, March 2007
  • Champagne and Terroir, December 2006
  • Wine and Global Warming, June 2006
  • Wild Boar, February 2006
  • Luxury Foods, February 2006
  • Pubcos, September 2004
  • Australia: The Hunt for Terroir, June 2004
  • Wines from New Places, February 2004
  • Malt, October 2003
  • Sommeliers, October 2003
  • Beer and Gastronomy, March 2003
  • The Grapes of War (two programmes, BBC Radio Four), November 2002
  • Alcopops and Cordials, October 2002
  • Biodynamic Wine, July 2002

Please also see the Food Programme page on the BBC website.

Television work

  • Report on whisky scam for Food File (Channel Four, 1996)
  • Report on whisky scam for SCAM (Carlton Television, 2003)

Public appearances

  • personalised tastings via
  • Series of monthly tasting lunches for ‘Waitrose Food Illustrated’ – underway since spring 2000; now ‘Sip and Savour’ (
  • Masterclasses for Decanter Fine Wine Encounters
  • Wine guide for Arblaster & Clarke wine tours (
  • Tutor for The French Wine Society and The French Wine Society study tours (
  • Tastings and lectures at the London School of Economics and Plumpton College
  • Lectures and seminars at the University of Adelaide and The University of Edinburgh
  • Wine Communicators of Australia Annual Lecture Series 2012


  • Best French Wine Writer/Critic, Harpers France Summit 2013
  • Roederer Awards Blogger of the Year 2012
  • Roederer Awards International Wine Feature Writer of the Year 2011
  • Roederer Awards International Wine Columnist of the Year 2010
  • Best Drink Book 2010 — Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards (Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course)
  • Finalist in the Arthur and Marjorie Goodchild Prize for Excellent English 2009, awarded by The Queen’s English Society
  • Roederer Awards Wine Feature Writer of the Year 2008
  • UK Guild of Food Writers Food Broadcast Award 2008
  • Roederer Awards International Wine Writer of the Year 2007
  • ATOP Travel Writer of the Year 2006 (travel writing)
  • Roederer Awards International Wine Writer of the Year 2006
  • Best Drink Journalist 2005 – Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards
  • Jasmine Awards Literary Award 2005 (writing on perfume)
  • Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Best Wine Literature Book 2004 (sic) (Peat Smoke and Spirit)
  • Jasmine Awards Literary Award 2004 (writing on perfume)
  • APA Magazine Awards Journalist of the Year 2003
  • Lanson Awards Wine Book of the Year 2003 (The New France)
  • Glenfiddich Trophy Winner 2003
  • Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the Year 2002
  • Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year 2003
  • Veuve Clicquot USA Wine Book of the Year 2003 (The New France)
  • AndrÈ Simon Award 2003 (The New France)
  • Symington Family Port Award 2003
  • Lanson Award Broadcast Media 2002 (BBC Liquid Companion)
  • Lanson Award Broadcast Media 2001 (BBC Liquid Companion)
  • Glenfiddich Radio Broadcast of the Year 2001 (BBC Food Programme on Cork)
  • International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year 2001
  • Lanson Awards Broadcast Media 2000 (BBC Food Programme and Nature’s Alchemists)
  • Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year 2000
  • British Guild of Beer Writers Beer Writer of the Year 1999
  • Lanson Awards Broadcast Media 1999 (BBC Food Programme)
  • Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the Year 1997
  • Sony Bronze Award 1996 (BBC Liquid Companion)
  • British Guild of Beer Writers Beer Writer of the Year 1995
  • Premier Award of Wine Guild of Great Britain 1995
  • Glenfiddich Whisky Writer of the Year 1995
  • Glenfiddich Drink Writer of the Year 1995
  • Bunch Award for Wine Journalism 1994

Comments and review excerpts

“His work is intelligent, distinguished, interesting, informative, consumer-friendly. He raises wine writing to a higher plane.” Bunch Award Judging Panel (Stephen Fry, Auberon Waugh, Jancis Robinson MW, John Armit), October 1994

“Andrew Jefford doesn’t jump on the bandwagon. He creates the bandwagon.”
International Wine & Spirit Competition ‘Communicator of the Year’ judging panel, April 2001

“Andrew Jefford is the most lyrical, informed and intelligent wine writer in the UK.” John Stimpfig, The Oxford Times 2002

“a veteran in the food and drink arena who consistently produces incredible, intelligent, though-provoking observation pieces, which challenge the readers’ and listeners’ perception.” Glenfiddich Trophy Citation, May 2003

“For my money he [Andrew Jefford] knows more about booze than anyone in the country, so when he recommends something, check it out.” John Graham, Tatler, January 2005

“Andrew’s approach to writing encompasses not only what is contained within the glass but also the personalities, environment, and culture that surrounds it — making him a standout amongst his peers.”, 2009

Please also see a selection of other reviews for Peat Smoke and Spirit and The New France under those subsections on the ‘Books’ page.


  • Rollesby County Primary School & Gresham’s School, Norfolk
  • University of Reading: BA Hons in English: First Class
  • University of East Anglia: MA in C19 and C20 Novel: awarded With Distinction
  • University of East Anglia: two years’ work on PhD thesis on the short fiction of Robert Louis Stevenson (uncompleted)

Graphologist’s assessment

Handwriting samples show:

“a man with sharp, quick, analytical, critical and acute intelligence and feelings that are kept under strict control. He can be unpredictable and stubborn, but on the up side has a richly creative side, a zesty way with words and a mind brimming with ideas. He is usually totally focussed on what he is doing. He is a complex man, difficult to get to know well. He likes to be different, thriving on proving himself to be the best at what he does, enjoying a mentally competitive environment.”