The London Wine Competition 2020 is now into its third year and can still claim to be the only major international wine event that looks to reward wines that everyday wine drinkers can relate to as they are assessed not just on their quality, but what they look like, how much they cost, and what value they offer. Here’s how to enter the 2020 competition.
The London Wine Competition claims to be the word’s most relevant wine competition, at least for consumers, as it tries to assess and reward wines based on how consumers judge them. What they look like, what they taste like, how much they cost, and do I want to have another glass. Simple as that. Here’s how to enter the 2020 competition.
How do you judge how good a wine is? Anyone who has a WSET qualification to their name will be very familiar with the systematic approach to wine tasting that is all about assessing the colour, the appearance, the legs, nose, taste and balance of a wine. But rarely does a professional examination take into account what sort of label a wine has, be it the design the overall look, feel and packaging. Which, after, all, is all that the average customer has to go on when deciding which wine to pick off a shelf.
Which is what makes the London Wine Competition such an event. Now entering its third year it claims to be the only global wine competition that judges wines both on what they taste like, and what they look like and what value they offer. Quality, value and packaging. That’s why design and packaging is such an important part of the overall offer that a wine has.
Those are arguably the wines that professional wine buyers and sommeliers need to have on their lists. They keep the cash flowing going, they keep the wine stocks flowing and ultimately they bring in the much needed revenues and margins for the restaurant.
The London Wine Competition was launched in 2017 by the Beverage Trade Network, the US drinks events, services, business and publishing group. It is now back for its third year of competition with entries open now and up to January 31, 2020.
Sid Patel, founder of the LWC and chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network, explained what he wanted to achieve with the new event: “At all the major competitions, wines are judged solely on the quality of what’s in the bottle. We wanted to take a different approach, by asking our judges to look at wines the way wine drinkers do, adding appearance and value for money into the mix.”
The average wine drinker, he added, is not interested or qualified to go through all the quality tests, they just want a wine they can trust, suits their palate and makes them want to order another glass.
“People buy wines with their eyes first, and that puts a real premium on wines that are able to offer an attractive presentation, everything from the label to the brand perception. Including all three factors into the judging process produces results that are closer to the reality of the way consumers purchase wines and gives winemakers better feedback on how their wines are perceived by wine drinkers,” said Patel.
To ensure each of these elements are carefully considered during the judging process, the point scores are broken down in this way.
• Quality Score: marked out of 50
• Value Score: marked out of 25
• Packaging/Design Score: marked out of 25
Wines that score 90+ points are awarded Gold medals, while wines that score 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals.
The results of the second London Wine Competition that took place earlier this year also reflected the quality and innovation that is taking place all over the world.
Australia was the standout performer taking away 11 Gold medals and scooping up 31% of the medals awarded. But there was also a long tail of countries that also picked up a share of the spoils with France, Italy through to Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Spain, the US and England all being awarded category medals.
Kellermeister’s Wild Witch Shiraz seized the top Gold medal, scoring 98 points, and also securing ‘Wine of the Year’ and Best Wine By Quality. Situated in the Barossa Valley Australia’s classic region for top quality Shiraz growing and producing, the Wild Witch is not produced in every vintage.
The second highest score was for 97 points shared between Guinevere 2016, from Gusbourne in the UK, Fink & Kotzian Weinbau OG 2017, from Fink & Kotzian Weinbau OG in Austria; Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico Riserva, 2013 from Tenuta Santa Maria di Gaetano Bertani in Italy.
The judges for this year’s competition included 11 Masters of Wine, a Master Sommelier, and buyers from key retail operators, wine distributors as well as senior sommeliers from London’s fine premium on-trade. It included a number of new MWs who joined the panel including Rebecca Gibb MW, Philip Harden MW, Robin Kick MW, Joanne Ahearne MW, Barbera Drew MW and David Forer MW.
Other judges included:
* Anna Botting, head sommelier
• Stefano Pasqual, head sommelier, Gordon Ramsay
• Piotr Pietras, head sommelier
• Matteo Furlon, deputy head sommelier, The Ritz
• Julien Sarrasin, head sommelier, Hide Above
• Greg Sherwood MW, Handford Wines
• David Vareille, head sommelier, The Arts Club
A full list of judges can be found here.
How to enter
If you are looking to enter the LWC then the cost is £125.
Judging for the 2020 competition will take place on March 24 and 25, 2020 with winners announced on April 30, 2020.
- For more information on the London Wine Competition 2020 go to its main website here.