The Buyer
Top sommeliers & buyers sign up for London Wine Competition

Top sommeliers & buyers sign up for London Wine Competition

As the entry process for the 2023 London Wine Competition gets under way we take a close look at the line up of judges that have been invited to take part in assessing, scoring and potentially rewarding the medals in next year’s awards. As this remains the only international wine competition based on judging wines blind, but also for their value for money, price position and packaging and design only professionals with direct buying experience working in the wine trade are invited to take part, alongside Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers.

Richard Siddle
4th November 2022by Richard Siddle
posted in Awards,

You can take advantage of super early bird pricing if you enter wines to the London Wine Competition by December 9, 2023. Click here for more details.

The pace at which the London Wine Competition has been able to grow, and build its reputation around the world is thanks to a large part to the quality of the judges it is able to bring together every year to lead the judging process.

The London Wine Competition was first set up in late 2017 to reward wines that consumers are most likely to relate to and want to buy. Wines that are judged not just by how they taste and perform in a blind tasting, but how a consumer might assess them on a wine list or down a supermarket aisle. By how much they cost, what value for money they offer and what they look like.

The same key criteria that professional wine buyers take into consideration when deciding which wines to list for their business, be it an importer, distributor, wine merchant, retailer or restaurant or bar.

The quality of those judges is what attracts so many producers and operators to enter wines into the competition.

As Charlie Holland, chief executive and chief winemaker at Gusbourne, the award-winning English wine producer,says: “The London Wine Competition is going from strength to strength every year with some of the best judges from the wine trade.”

Here we pick out some of the judges that have been invited to take part in the judging process this year – which takes place in London on March 20 and 21.

The judges include those who have been with the competition for some years and some new faces as well

The judges are asked to assess wines by first blind tasting them and then looking at their value for money proposition and their packaging and design

The judges include leading sommeliers, importers and wine merchants

The London Wine Competition was first introduced in 2017 as an alternative competition that looks at wines in the same way that consumers buy them

The London Wine Competition is currently offering early bird pricing for wines that are entered by December 9 2023

Judging Process

Each submission is assigned a unique submission reference number. The wines are to be assigned a score for quality and value on a blind-tasting basis. Following this, the wines will be brought to the judges and arranged together for the packaging score for that flight.

Scoring system

The London Wine Competition is based on the following judging formula:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Wine Competition Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process (Quality gets twice the weight. The scores will be calculated with other judges for the same product on the team to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 100

Value Score: will be marked out of 100

Package Score: will be marked out of 100

Definitions:

Some of the judging panel for the 2022 London Wine Competition awards

Quality: Quality will be assessed based on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. Measure quality considering the following characteristics of the beverage: Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.

Value: The objective is to understand how well a particular wine is priced and what value it offers, greater the quality offered for the price, greater the value score will be.

Package: Packaging will be measured by how well judges think the wine will be perceived by the consumer. The package will be judged for the Off-Premise market considering factors like label design and information, closure, and overall look. This does not involve boxes, cartons and bags. It is how they think the product will be perceived when placed on a wine shelf amongst thousands of other wines.

Pricing

Fee Schedule:

£95 Early Bird – October 1 to December 9, 2022
£110 Regular – December 10 to February 22, 2023

Key Dates:

Warehouse Closes: March 2, 2023
Registration Ends: February 22, 2023
Judging Date: March: 20 & 21, 2023
Winners Announced: April 12, 2023