Harry Waugh

Lifetime Achievements 1990 - Deceased
London, England


In the beginning, you’d never have guessed that Harry Waugh would become one of this century’s most important people in the world of wine.
Born the third son of a widow in 1904, he was forced to leave school at the early age of 16 due to lack of money.

After working at a series of odd jobs through the twenties and early thirties, Harry Waugh became a sales clerk for the prestigious London wine merchant, Block, Grey and Block, in 1934. “You can taste, and you can smell,” the chairman told him; then he put Waugh in charge of the cigar line.
After serving in the Welsh Guards for six years in World War II, Waugh went to work for Harvey’s of Bristol. Within a short time he did all the Bordeaux and Burgundy buying for the firm, and in 1960, he became Export Director.

When he retired from Harvey’s in 1968, he formed some of his experiences into a book, Bacchus on the Wing, which proved so successful it was followed by others that soon became classics in the wide-trade: The Changing Face of Wine (1968), Pick of the Bunch (1970), Winetaster’s Choice (1973), as well as ten volumes of Wine Diaries (1972-1987).

He has been wine buyer for perhaps the most famous club in the world, the St. James Club of London, as well as the QE II, Jackson’s of Piccadilly, etc. Waugh has been a consultant to the Queen, Christie’s, and many fine restaurants and hotels, as well as being a Director for the Chateau Latour. Recognizing the potential of Californian wines, he was also President of the Zinfandel Club of London.

Harry Waugh lived in London with his wife Prue and twins Jamie and Harriet for many years. He traveled the world, writing and lecturing about his favorite subject and winning countless awards until he died at age 97. Both his children continue in the business: Harriet writes about wine for Decanter Magazine and son Jamie works for United Distilleries & Vintners, a leading distributor of wines, whiskies and white spirits in Great Britain.

Thank you Harry Waugh for your passion and dedication to excellent wine and food. You inspire us.

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