The New Wines of Mount Etna | Benjamin North Spencer
WINNER: Gourmand Award | UNESCO Food Culture

It’s always nice to start your day off with good news. Yesterday morning I woke to the sound of a message from a friend that I had won an award for my new book, The New Wines of Mount Etna.

With one eye open and half of my consciousness still in a dream, I typed a message back. “What award?”

Robbin told me to check my email. Once I had my hand on a cup of coffee, I cracked open the old email account and there it was.

The New Wines of Mount Etna | Winner Gourmand Award

The New Wines of Mount Etna is the Winner of the Italian National Competition for the Gourmand International Awards, in the category Food Culture of UNESCO Heritage Sites.

“Sweet!” Right!? It’s nice to be noticed, however, it’s better to raise awareness. Places like Mount Etna are unique in the world, but it’s the people who work the land and bring valor to the local culture that bring the stories in The New Wines of Mount Etna to life.

I share this award with everyone who has contributed to the history and future of this dramatic, volcanic landscape. Mount Etna was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

On behalf of Italy, The New Wines of Mount Etna will now compete in its category for the title of ‘Best in The World’ 2021. The winners of this elite competition will be announced at Paris Cookbook Fair on Saturday afternoon, June 5, 2021, in the Louvre Tuileries Gardens, in Paris, France.

“Paris,” I said, sipping my coffee. “Ce serait bien.” That would be nice.

The announcement also names Gemelli Press, my American publisher, and 1288 publications from 175 countries. There was only one winner per country in each category. There are 54 winning Italian publications named in 53 different categories, including Robbin’s Wine Doors of Florence, which she wrote with Eliot Dudik. (Maine Media Workshop)

The New Wines of Mount Etna will now compete with the following publications (and publishers) for the title Best In The World :

  • France – Vin & Gastronomie, Jocelyne Pérard, Olivier Jacquet, Jean-Robert Pitte (Presses Universitaires de Dijon)
  • Italy – The New Wines of Mount Etna, Benjamin North Spencer (Gemelli Press)
  • Japan – Branding Japanese Food, Katarzyna Cwiertka, Yasuhara Miho (University Hawaii Press)
  • Peru – Gastronomía Peruana, Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad, Sara Beatriz Guardia (USMP)
  • Saudi Arabia – A taste of Al-Ula, Ferrandi Paris (Rizzoli)
  • Sweden – Destination Jokkmokk, Laponia World Heritage, Swedish Lapland (Jokkmokk)
  • UK – Burgundy, Global story of Terroir, Marion Demossier (Berghahn Paperback)

More information about the Gourmand Awards and the Paris Cookbook fair is available at

Rendez-vous à Paris

The New Wines of Mount Etna | Benjamin North Spencer

Pick up your copy of the Award-Winning Book today

THE NEW WINES OF MOUNT ETNAAn Insider’s Guide to the History & Rebirth of a Wine Region

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