John Vaughan-Hughes MW
Became and MW in 1961, died 2016
Tim Vaughan-Hughes, John’s son
John retained his love of good food and fine wine throughout his life, and certainly believed in the civilising effects of an excellent meal and a well-chosen bottle. He spoke about his wine trips abroad with the Masters of Wine with great affection, and was always keen to learn more about the business. He introduced friends and family to a huge and exciting variety of grape and vintage, and loved to share his knowledge with passion and unfailing modesty. The family home became a place where visitors were guaranteed a taste of something unusual or special combined with a warm welcome.
Tribute by Lynne Coyle MW
When I met John for the first time in Edinburgh in 1988, he was my first contact with a Master of Wine and the Institute. I had just joined the wine trade through Oddbins, and John in those days undertook all of the wine training for the group. Travelling the length of the UK, many of the Oddbins team benefited from his passionate and patient approach to wine tasting. I was fortunate enough to be able to taste with John on more than one occasion, and I found that he brought the same energy to his sessions whether we were six or twenty students. John has left his legacy. Looking around the industry today, many of my ex- Oddbins colleagues in important trade roles would have been taught by John. Being a Master of Wine, John was also keen on educating his students about the Institute. I remember being fascinated by the idea, that my new found wine trade career had such a prestigious professional body that one could aspire to. When I reflected on the news of John’s passing, it took me back to my early days in the industry and thought about how fortunate I had been to have had John as my example.
Tribute by Patrick Millet MW
I remember his keen interest in the Institute’s Library and keeping Council up to date with his discussions with the Guildhall Library and how it could best be promoted to MW students. But what I most vividly remember about John, is during an MW trip to California, we had a free evening in San Francisco. John was talking passionately about a jazz club in the city, that sounded like a must-do place to visit and he was looking for other interested folk to join him. It turned out that he was a great fan of jazz. The club was called ‘Earthquake McGoons’ and he informed us that the Turk Murphy Jazz Band was playing there and that their style of Dixieland/Traditional jazz would be well worth the detour. So it was that several of us accompanied him and we had a fabulous evening together. Sadly it closed in 1984, but the memory of the evening lingers on and John’s enthusiasm at sharing his knowledge with us, does too. A lovely, caring and gentle man who will be missed by those who knew him.
Tribute by Sebastian Payne MW
A very civilised man, who knew a great deal about sherry and the byways of France, which he used to walk carrying a stout stick to ward off dogs and an orange for lunch before a good dinner at his destination.
Tribute by Angela Muir MW
I remember John at the regular Wine Magazine tastings we used to host at the beginning of the 1990’s. He was hugely experienced, enthusiastic and benign and always a welcome sight.