Judges for the UK Merchant Awards

The IWC Merchant Awards UK judging panel is headed by Peter McCombie MW and Charles Metcalfe. They will be joined by 2 guest judges.

Peter McCombie MW

Peter's career in wine started in sales working with legendary Italian champions Winecellars. He now operates an independent wine consultancy service, focused on hotels and restaurants.

Born and raised in New Zealand, now resident in London, he speaks widely, hosting corporate and public events as well as industry seminars. He teaches at the Christie's Wine Course and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, as well as conducting bespoke courses for anyone from beginners to MW students. He writes for a number of publications and has judged wine competitions around the world.

Charles Metcalfe

Charles Metcalfe's tasting career started at university, where he captained the Oxford tasting team to victory over Cambridge two years running. He co-founded the consumer magazine Wine International with Robert Joseph in 1983. They started the International Wine Challenge in 1984. He is also in demand as an international wine judge, and has judged in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and South Africa.

As well as writing books on Spanish and Portuguese wines, and on matching wine with food, Charles has appeared on many UK television programmes, presenting drinks and and food items. His latest book is 'The Wine & Food Lover's Guide to Portugal', written with his wife, Kathryn McWhirter, with an update due shortly, and his website, www.charlesmetcalfe.com, allows him the occasional rant.

Anne Burchett

Anne Burchett is MD of Sopexa UK. Sopexa UK is part of Sopexa Groupe, the benchmark agency for international marketing, promotions, press and public relations specialising in food and wine. Prior to working for Sopexa, Anne held a number of Sales and Marketing positions for various French wine producers, namely, Chantovent, Skalli, Vinival, Grands Chais de France and Castel. She’s also headed the Off Trade Sales division of Waverley Vintners as it was then known. French born, Anne Burchett has lived and worked in the UK for 25 years. Her passion for wine developed while running a Nicolas shop as a summer job and possibly as a result of starting her career with Procter and Gamble and soon realising the limited excitement to be found in nappies. She passed her WSET Diploma in 1999 and enjoys writing, entertaining and drinking good wine.


Spencer Hyman

Spencer is an entrepreneur and investor in internet technology, media and consumer products.  He is a founder and partner at www.cocoarunners.com. Prior to this he founded and was CEO of Artfinder, COO of Last.fm (which he helped sell to CBS for $280m) and was General Manager of Technology Products for Amazon in Europe.

Currently, Spencer also serves as a board / advisory board member for a number of start-ups including Linked-In, Yoyo-games, Melody VR, Summly, Jingle Punks, Makie-Doll, Lux Fix and Pigeonhole.  Outside of these commercial interests he is a Trustee of the Foundling Museum and is on the international advisory board of Creative Commons.