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Ray Cyril

The English journalist and wine writer Cyril Ray (1908-1991) was a war correspondent during the Second World War and became famous for his exceptionally witty and precise style, his art of formulation and his accuracy down to the last detail. His great passions were first military history and later (as a passionate beer drinker rather theoretically) wine. His interest in wine was first awakened during the Italian campaign and he then deepened his knowledge of it during later UNESCO assignments in Italy, Greece and Africa. He became a wine correspondent for the magazines and newspapers Director, Oberver, Punch and Wine Spectator, among others.

His numerous wine articles motivated many people to enjoy wine and led to increased wine sales. Cyril Ray founded the British "Circle of Wine Writers" and was also the first president of this association. In 1956, the first volume of "The Compleat Imbiber" was published, a 16-volume work of stories, commentary and verse that is considered his most significant contribution to wine literature. Other books worth mentioning are "The Wines of Italy", "Wine with Food", "Cognac" and "Vintage Tales". His absolute speciality was historical studies on famous wineries, for example Bollinger, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Mondavi. He received numerous honours for his wine publications, e.g. as "Chevalier Ordre pour le Mérite" in 1985. In 1979, he served as President of the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

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