Anne Krebiehl

Interview with a Master of Wine

An exceptionally well-travelled Master of Wine, Anne Krebiehl’s career in wine and writing has taken her to all four corners of the globe. Anne is a published author, winning the Louis Roederer Award for Book of the Year for Wines of Germany, and is also the editor for Germany, Alsace and Austria.

In this interview, Anne shares the moments that inspired her to pursue a career in wine, her literary roots, revelations, and favourite wine regions.

Chief Wine Officer: How did you first fall in love with wine?

Anne Krebiehl MW: “I cannot actually remember – it sort of happened gradually. I was a rather abstemious teenager and only started drinking wine when I was an exchange student in the States – I preferred wine to either beer or spirits. It was quite a bit later that I started investigating it more seriously when I really came to wine through food and the kitchen once I started cooking and finally had a kitchen in London.
“A chance tasting a little later – with the Sotheby’s Wine Bible in tow – during a summer holiday in the South of France eventually did the trick. We tasted wine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and it was a magical encounter. Later on that same trip, I was given two glasses of the same grape, same vintage, but one from old and one from new vines at Chapoutier’s shop in Tain l’Hermitage, I could not believe how different the wines were and this set me off: once I got back to London I started taking courses and classes and I have never stopped learning since!”

What would you be doing for a living if you weren’t involved in wine?

“Well, I often think that if I had my time over again, I would study botany and then breed citrus and roses or be a gardener. But I may just as well be a chef or a baker. But with my current background I would probably still have ended up as a writer of some sort, because that is what I wanted to do, I always loved language, but hardly dared to admit to myself for the longest time that I wanted to be a writer.”

What inspired you to write ‘The Wines of Germany’?

“It was less inspiration than being asked by the publishers at Infinite Ideas who had revived the ‘Classic Wine Library’ that had been a key wine book series by Faber & Faber. It was not a good deal at all but having had all my wine training and education in the UK, I knew how the international world saw German wines, and I had something to say about that. I learned so much when I researched and wrote the book, and I am glad I was able to delve into the regional history and explain why the law is the way it is….”

What was your reaction to the book being so well received?

“I was just so happy and so gratified. There had not been a thorough book on German wines for a number of years, so there was some hunger, but I am so happy when I still get messages on insta from readers who found it helpful when they were studying. When I won the Louis Roederer Awards Book of the Year I was bowled over, I just could not believe it. I was so happy!”


I was given two glasses of the same grape, same vintage, but one from old and one from new vines at Chapoutier’s shop in Tain l’Hermitage, I could not believe how different the wines were and this set me off.

– Anne Krebiehl MW


What was the most challenging/rewarding aspect of getting your MW qualification?

“The most challenging for me was to pass the tasting exam. For some reason, because I am a writer, I found it easier to pass the theory and the dissertation: after all, it means finding, researching and understanding information and then reproducing it in a coherent manner, which is sort of my job. Tasting was much harder as I had so little confidence. I was my own worst enemy. At the time, I had so little money that I mostly only tasted wines, rather than drinking them in a relaxed fashion – and this explains a lot of my lack of confidence. You need experience in drinking, not just tasting. It took me a while to realise this. It only occurred to me two years ago or so. At the time, however, in 2014 when I passed, I did so with the help of a sports psychologist who helped prime my brain and heart to performing when it mattered. I am so grateful to him”

If you could only visit one wine region for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

“Oh my, this is impossible to answer. Impossible. It would have to be a region where you have fine sparkling wine and fine Pinot Noir at the same time – so the Californian coast could be it, or Tasmania. Or even England… or Alpine Italy… but I have a soft spot for the northern Californian coast with its giant redwoods and the Pacific Coast – I love when the perfume of the ocean combines with that of conifer….”

Which came first, the writing expertise or the wine expertise?

“Language and writing came first – I fell in love with English the moment I started learning it at age 11. I loved words, I loved being able to communicate, I took language qualifications (English as a foreign language) to a very high level and then studied English Literature, which, incidentally, is what brought me to London.”

What excites you about the wine industry right now?

“The same thing that has always fascinated me: that I never stop learning, that I still encounter completely new styles even in regions I know, that wine is still enticing and totally delicious. And that so many winemakers and growers are grappling with the immense challenge of climate change and are still hopeful.”

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About Anne

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Any questions?

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