Jamie Ritchie

in conversation with Avram Kosasky

Sunday, November 22nd

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Jamie Ritchie in conversation with Avram Kosasky

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Jamie Ritchie, head of Sotheby’s wine, is proud to present The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, an essential reference for oenophiles – long used as the go-to text for the prestigious Master Sommelier examination – and the most comprehensive guide to the world of wine, featuring authoritative information on the history, culture, geography, and taste of vintages around the globe.

Jamie became head of Sotheby’s global wine business in May of 2016. He joined Sotheby’s in London in 1990 and was responsible for launching Sotheby’s wine auctions in New York in 1994 and in Hong Kong in 2009. More recently, Mr. Ritchie was responsible for launching Sotheby’s Wine, a retail store and online wine business, becoming the only major global auctioneer offering fine wines at retail. He is also a respected authority in the wine market and has been regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Forbes and Wine Spectator Magazine.

Avram Kosasky lives and works in New York City selling natural and terroir driven wines to the city’s best restaurants and retailers. Raised in the rolling hills of Marin County, wine country was never far away. After studying conceptual art and working in magazines and industrial design, he found himself always drawn back to the many and exquisite expressions of the vine. He devotes himself to seeking out new wines and producers and sharing them with his community and friends.

“A must-have for anyone looking to become an expert in wine.”

– Sotheby’s Wine

A personal note from Jamie and Avram. 

Sent December 2nd, following their Conversations with Authors session.


Thank you so much for joining Avram and me to talk about a life in the world of wine and The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. Avram brought out so many interesting topics from the evolution of wine styles to sustainability to the global demand for wine to the launch of Sotheby’s Own Label Collection. Wine is a complex subject that is intimidating for many people and the Encyclopedia really breaks down each area and is written in a way that makes it very easy to understand.

There has never been a better time to enjoy and explore the world of wine, as $20 we spend on a bottle today is buying us a much better wine than it would have 5, 10 or 15 years ago.

I enjoy talking about our business and am continually interested in reading a wide variety of publications, e-newsletters and books.

My most recent favorite books are:


Food, Cocktails & Restaurants

  • Table Talk by AA Gill – Stories and a unique perspective that will have you laughing out loud
  • Dirt by Bill Buford – Bill tells the story of working in restaurants in France
  • The Third Plate by Dan Barber – A great chef lays out his thoughts on the food system
  • The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan – A huge influence in bar tending
  • The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale Degroff – A master of the cocktail
  • Pour Me, A Life by AA Gill – A memoir about alcoholism told by a brilliant raconteur
  • My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Camara – Chef of one of my most favorite restaurants in the world


  • Lead and Disrupt by Charles O’Reilly & Michael Tushman – How to embrace change
  • Collective Genius by Hill, Brandeau, Truelove & Lineback – How to lead innovation
  • Luxury Wine Marketing by Peter Yeung & Liz Thach – How to think about marketing in the luxury wine market

If you are interested in Sotheby’s, please email or follow on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Best wishes,


Thank you all for joining Jamie and me for this conversation. I so enjoyed getting to hear his insight and stories from the highest echelons of our business, and I am so grateful you could share it with us. The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia. is an indispensable resource. I cannot think of another publication that compares in its breadth of information and clarity, and I encourage each of you to further your journey into wine with your own copy.


Food + Thought

  • Drinking French by David Lebovitz – We all want to live his life.
  • My Last Sigh by Luis Buñuel – A fascinating memoir from the film director, including a multi-page treatise on the perfect martini.
  • Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins – A document of a special couple, and how their hospitality set the table for culture.



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