Finding the right wine for your list is ultimately what being a wine buyer is all about. Half the battle is getting access to source the wines that are right for your buying needs and the venue you are buying for. It’s why the London Wine Competition is fast becoming one of the key competitions for wine professionals as it only uses commercial buyers as judges who assess wines in the same way they might in their role: by their quality; their price and value for money; and what they look like with their packaging and design. Here’s how you can take part in the 2022 awards.
The London Wine Competition 2022 is now open for entries with anyone entering their products by August 31 able to quality for super early bird pricing. Here’s details on how to enter.
The London Wine Competition prides itself on being the the only major global drinks competitions that judges wines in the same way that wine drinkers do when faced with a wall of wine down a supermarket aisle, or page after page on a wine list. The wine’s quality, reputation, how much it costs, its value for money and then what does it look like in your hand or on a restaurant table.
It’s all the same – or very similar – criteria that a professional wine buyers uses to decide which new wines should go on to their list. A wine might pick up a gold medal in a blind wine tasting competition, but that is only part of the story. If it is not at the right price, offers great value for the money and looks the part then it is going to be left unsold regardless of how many medals it might have round its neck.
It’s why the London Wine Competition has prioritised buyers as its key judges. They may not be the biggest, most high profile names in the sector, but they are the individuals responsible for deciding which wines go on retailers and restaurants wine lists. They are amongst the most important people in the whole wine supply chain, but mostly go about their work, quietly and painstakingly in their offices, assessing every wine that comes across their desk within an inch of its life. They may not shout the loudest, but they yield the most power in the industry.
This year the London Wine Competition is adding more buyers to its judging panel, making sure it is up to date and in tune with the most connected and switched on individuals in the sector.
As Sid Patel, chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network that organises the London Wine Competition, says: “Wine buyers are the heart and soul of the wine industry and the UK is blessed with some of the most talented and professional buyers in the world as they are having to assess wines from every major wine producing country, picking out the gems that are going to work on the country’s most important and influential wine lists. We are lucky to work with many of these leading talents and every year we look to introduce fresh experience to our panels to make sure we are judging and rewarding the most commercially focused wines on the market.”
Wines are judged on a 100-point scale. With different scores out of 100 given by each judge for its quality, value and packaging. Gold medals are given for wines scoring 90 to 100 points; Silver for scoring 76-89 points; and 65-75 points for Bronze.
What makes the LWC different
- Every judge has be currently employed in a front line job in the wine industry and where possible have direct buying responsibility or be involved in commercial decision making.
- Each panel of judges has at least one MW or MS judge and a female judge as part of their judging team.
- It attracts entries from all over the world ensuring wines are being assessed against the best in their category with 36 countries taking part in 2021.
- The 2021 competition also saw wines entered that covered 135 different varietals of which there were a Super Six made up of: Shiraz; Cabernet Sauvignon; Chardonnay; Merlot; Tempranillo; and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon made up the most number of Gold medals.
The London Drinks Guide helps to promote award winning wines in the London Wine Competition
- Medal winners have the opportunity of being featured and promoted on the London Drinks Guide, a dedicated editorial platform set up to support the producers, importers and distributors that enter the London Wine Competition.
- The London Wine Competition is one part of the three London Competitions that also includes the London Beer Competition, the London Spirits Competition, all organised by the Beverage Trade Network.
Entering the 2022 Competition
Any importer, supplier or distributor that enters from now until August 31 can take advantage of super early bird pricing. The awards are also now open for all entries.
Pricing 2022 awards
- £75 Super Early Bird – May 1 to August 31, 2021
- £95 Early Bird – September 1 to Nov 30, 2021
- £110 Regular – Dec 1 to Feb 28, 2022
New Quantity Discount Available
- 4 to 9 entries: 10% discount
- 10 to 14 entries: 15% discount
- 15 or more entries: 20% discount