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Simon André

Simon André The Frenchman André Louis Simon (1877-1970) was one of the most influential English wine dealer and with over 100 books one of the most diligent wine authors. He lived in England from the age of 17, but always remained a French citizen. The author Hugh Johnson calls him the "charismatic leader of the English wine trade from the first half of the 20th century". At 17, he was sent to Southampton in 1994 to learn English. In 1902 he became the London agent for the champagne house Pommery & Greno ordered. He wrote his first book, The History of the Champagne Trade in England, which was published in installments in the Wine Trade Review. In 1908 he and his friends founded the "Wine Trade Club", where organized tastings took place and lectures on wine topics were held. This club is considered the forerunner of the one founded 45 years later Masters of Wine,

In October 1931, Simon organized a dinner in honor of George Saintsbury (1845-1933), author of the classic "Notes on a Cellar Book". From this gathering, the "Saintsbury Club" developed to this day, in which Simon acted as the first treasurer and cellar master. In 1933 he founded the International Wine & Food Society, was its first president and editor of the magazine "Wine and Food" (successor was friend Hugh Johnson ). After the end of the prohibition in the USA In 1933 Simon made his first trip to North America in 1934 and founded an IWFS branch in New York. The collaboration with Pommery had already ended in 1932. He wrote about the profession of a champagne dealer: he has to be a good blender rather than a seller, he mustn't be a teaser or a drunkard and he has to do it every day champagne can drink without being fed up or becoming addicted to it.

Michael Broadbent described Simon as his favorite author and admired the "pure poetry of his writing". Robert Parker however did not count among his fans and supposedly developed his 100-point scale in response to this type of writing. The best of his 104 books in total is the three-volume work "The History of the Wine Trade in England from Roman Times to the End of the 17th Century", which was completed in 1909. In 1919 he published the “Bibliotheca Vinaria”, a 340-page book catalog that he had collected for the “Wine Trade Club”. Simon received numerous honors, including being an officer in the French Legion of Honor and owner of the "Order of the British Empire". He said that a man would die too young if he left a wine in his cellar. After his death, there were only two Magnum bottles of Claret in his basement. On the day of his 100th birthday, around 400 guests gathered in the Savoy in 1977 to commemorate the Château Latour 1945 to drink, which he had left for this occasion.

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