History of Wine Today

Joe Sriwarin, editor and publisher of Wine Today:

During and after his studies at Westminster and Ealing hotel schools in London, Joe took up various management trainee positions, working in the marketing, front office and food and beverage departments of some of London’s most prestigious establishments, including The Dorchester, The Savoy, Claridges, The Guinea Grill and The Walton, amongst others.

Joe has also acted as a food and beverage manager/director in London, Adelaide, Sydney and California, and worked for some of the world’s most famous cruise liners operating in the Caribbean and South America. Back in the late 1970s, he was the first Thai wine waiter (sommelier) on board the QE2, serving passengers in the ship’s first-class Columbia Restaurant.

While in England, Joe travelled to Bordeaux, Champagne, Spain and Italy to learn more about their winemaking methods. In the mid-1980s, while living in San Francisco, he also visited the Napa and Sonoma valleys - very different places now, says Joe. And when he was in Adelaide, working with the best food and wine experts in town such as Phil Cramey and Dorothy Bonython (formerly of Ayers House and Mawson House), he met some of the pioneers of the Barossa Valley.

After 16 years in the international hospitality industry, Joe returned home to Thailand in the early 1990s. Together with a group of friends he opened the ‘Restaurant des Arts Nouveaux’ on Thonglor, which soon gained a reputation as being one of the best European restaurants in Bangkok. Sadly, it was forced to close with the onset of the Asian economic crisis.

In 1998, he established ‘Thailand Timeout,’ an upmarket English-language lifestyle magazine specialising in people, travel, culture, wining and dining, and fine living in Thailand and beyond.

In 2004, Joe also launched the Thai-language ‘Wine Today’ magazine - currently the only wine magazine in Thailand.

In 2008, Joe launched “Thailand’s Best Sommelier,” an annual competition hosted in Bangkok which is attended each year by 100 wine professionals from all around the country. Alongside the event he also launched “Sommelier,” Thailand’s most prestigious wine tasting event.

In 2010, Joe gained support from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a government agency directly under the Prime Minister's Office, to host the Bangkok International Wine Fair (BIWF), the country’s first fully-fledge wine trade fair.

Unfortunately the event, which was scheduled for 25-27 November 2010, was called off because it failed to gain support from the Finance Ministry and Customs Department for tax exemption on wine and related goods intended for the exhibition.

The Bangkok International Wine Fair is now being put on hold because of an unclear policy on wine and related goods being brought into Thailand for exhibition purposes.

Wine Today magazine:

Wine Today aims to educate local wine enthusiasts and spread knowledge on how to enjoy wine. Its coverage includes wine history, people in the wine industry (both owners and winemakers), well-known wines, emerging wines and wines newly available in the Thai market. The magazine also keeps up with current international trends in both the New and Old World wine scenes.

The writers for Wine Today have all been professionally involved in the wine trade - in hotels, restaurants and food and beverage departments - and most are overseas graduates who learned about wine while living abroad. Some have already published books about wine, some are celebrities, some are lecturers on wine or experts on either Old or New World wines. Most Wine Today writers have paid their own way to travel to wine shows and wine-producing countries for many years.

Wine Today has become an essential tool for Thais involved in the wine trade, restaurant managers and owners, hotel F&B staff and - of course – for people who just enjoy drinking and learning about wine.

Wine Today is a monthly magazine, published by:

Oak Tree Publishing Company Limited.
1044/12 Sukhumvit Soi 44
(between Soi 44 and Soi 44/1)
Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Telephone: 66 2390 2551-53
Fax: 66 2390 2550
Email: editor@thailandwinetoday.com

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