The Buyer
Who are the top judges in the 2022 London Wine Competition?

Who are the top judges in the 2022 London Wine Competition?

Masters of Wine and top sommeliers from Michelin star restaurants and some of the UK’s most leading restaurants, hotels and bars are all lined up to take part in the judging of the London Wine Competition 2022 as they share their expertise in determining which wines deserve the highest scores and prizes in this year’s awards. Here’s a guide to some of the big names taking part.

Richard Siddle
21st January 2022by Richard Siddle
posted in Awards,

The London Wine Competition is now open for entries. Click here to find out more. Click here to see the full list of judges.

It’s one thing being an expert in wine, to have the London black cab version of “The Knowledge”, it is quite another applying all that information in the commercial setting of a restaurant, bar or specialist wine store. That’s where the skill of the professional wine buyer or sommelier comes in.

Those tasked with making the hard, business decisions that determine which wines they are going to list in their outlets.

There is no point filling your lists with simply wines you like to taste and drink. Wines that tick all the boxes when it comes to what wine nerds love to talk about. No, to succeed on the hard competitive floor of a restaurant, major supermarket, or specialist wine merchant that wine has to match up to your customers’ expectations about what they want to buy and drink. It is has nothing to do with your own personal tastes.

The most important skill of a top wine buyer or sommelier is knowing exactly what their customers want. That’s what makes them stand out and make them a major asset for whichever business they are working for.

In fact when recruiting new sommeliers for a role, major directors of wine will sometimes take a shortlist of candidates to a major trade tasting and then ask them to go out and select wines that hit certain price brackets on their list. They then sit back and watch which wines the candidates choose to go and taste. Those that immediately go for the most expensive and prestigious wines on the list rarely get the job. It is the prospective sommeliers who spend their time tasting and going through the more commercially priced wines where they can potentially find more value that are most likely to get the job.

These are the sommeliers, the best wine professionals that are tasked with judging the London Wine Competition.

The Judges

The judges for the 2022 awards all have one thing in common. They are all directly involved in the buying and selling of wine and in the commercial end of the wine trade. They have the know-how and skills to be able to taste through 100s of wine and pick out the medal winners.

This year’s list of judges is drawn from an elite list of outlets including Annabel’s, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, The Ritz, Berry Bros & Rudd, Zuma, Goodman, Gordon Ramsay Group, 67 Pall Mall, The Birley Clubs, Caprice Holdings, Enotria&Coe, Petersham Nurseries, Handford Wines, Hide and D&D London. Ensuring there is a wide spread of judges with different tasting and buying experiences.

Here are some of the judges taking part in the event.

Judging Process

The London Wine Competition stands out from its competitors in that it does not taste the wines blind. That’s the starting point to determine whether this is a wine worthy of winning a medal. The judges are then asked to use their commercial buying skills to assess the wines on the price and value for money and then what they look. How likely are customers likely to pick it off the shelf and buy it? Does the way it look live up to the quality and price positioning of the wines. Scores are then allocated for each of the three criteria and the most appropriate medal rewarded.

Key Dates

Registration Ends – February 28, 2022
Warehouse Closes: March 4, 2022
Judging Date: March 21 & 22, 2022
Winners Announced: April 5, 2022

Fee Schedule

£110 Regular Pricing

New: Quantity Discount Now Available

4 to 9 entries: 10% discount
10 to 14 entries: 15% discount
15 or more entries: 20% discount