Sarah Jane Evans is a Master of Wine based in the United Kingdom, although is more often travelling the world on epicurean adventures. She has received the Officer’s Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic and is a highly accomplished and award-winning wine writer and journalist, Co-Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards, and a former Chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine (2014-16). Winner of the Robert Mondavi Winery Award for the highest overall marks in the MW Theory exam. As a writer and consultant one of her special interests is Spain and Sherry. She is Chairman of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino. She is a certified Sherry educator; and has received the awards of Dama de Albariño and Dama de Solear.

Her books on Spain include ‘Seville‘, and ‘The Wines of Northern Spain‘. She is currently writing ‘The Wines of Central and Southern Spain’. Her other interests include the wines of South and North America; Greece; and the great fortified and sweet wines of the world.

Evans studied Classics, and Social & Political Sciences at Cambridge University. She began her career in book publishing, and today is a Trustee of the André Simon Book Award, and a Series Editor of the Classic Wine Library. She spent a decade as Associate Editor of the BBC’s Good Food magazine, and has a strong interest in taste and flavour, and in encouraging consumers to build their own confidence in tasting. She’s a Founder Member of the Academy of Chocolate and the author of ‘Chocolate Unwrapped’. Freeman of the City of London.

Officer’s Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic

24 January, 2024

“I was delighted, touched and proud to receive the decoration of the Officer’s Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic this week from H.E. The Ambassador of Spain to United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Mr José Pascual Marco.  The decoration hangs from a glorious yellow and white ribbon.  I can wear it on occasions when the invitations says ‘medals may be worn’. For the rest of the time, I have a very discreet yellow and white lapel pin. 

The award, granted by King Felipe VI and the Grand Chancellor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was created in 1815 in honour of Queen Isabel 1. It is open to Spaniards and foreigners ‘rewarding the firm allegiance to Spain and the merits of Spanish citizens and foreigners in good standing with the Nation.’

We celebrated with a terrific party at the Spanish Embassy at Belgrave Square, with a delicious menu, and wines generously provided by good friends, and by the Ambassador himself. We dined at the immense table which was originally designed for the Titanic, but was too big to get through the door. Do visit the Embassy if you get the opportunity. Since his arrival Mr Marco has commissioned plenty of works to restore the tapestries and paintings, and the lighting of the displays.” Sarah Jane Evans MW

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