Entries are now open for the Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) 2019. Run in conjunction with Imbibe magazine, SWA is the world’s only on-trade focused wine competition.
With wines from all over the world, tasted by top on-trade palates, SWA represents a real ‘sommelier’s eye’ view of the wine world, and tasters have regularly been the first to pick up on emerging trends, from ‘cool style’ Australian Chardonnay to the explosion in English sparkling wine.
In fact, for the first time in the competition’s history, last year English sparkling wine won more gold medals than Champagne. Other star categories were Australian Shiraz, the Rhône (reds and whites) and rosé.
With a judging panel of top UK sommeliers and wine buyers, the competition’s list of tasters are some of the most influential in the UK wine trade. The esteemed judges include Christine Parkinson, head of wine for the global Hakkasan Group, global on-trade consultant Annette Scarfe MW, Andrés Ituarte, head sommelier at Coq d’Argent and Charlie Young, owner of wine bar group Vinoteca.
‘In a world not short of wine competitions, the Sommelier Wine Awards has kept growing because it brings something genuinely different – a competition where all the wines and all the judges are on-trade focused’, said competition director Chris Losh.
‘If you want your wine to make an impression in the UK hospitality sector, there’s no better way to do it.’
Full details on the competition and how to enter can be found at sommelierwineawards.com.
- Entries must be submitted online by 23 January 2019. Results will be announced in May 2019 and all medal-winning wines will be listed on com complete with full tasting notes, and marketed to over 82,000 drinks professionals in the UK. All medal winners will feature in the SWA Gold Book, published with the Summer issue of Imbibe magazine.
- Categories are split into three sections: Essentials, Old World and New World. The categories include Sparkling, House Wine, Rosé, Sweet and Fortified, and wines are split by region. All categories can be found here.
- Judging takes place over two rounds in February and March. Decanters are available in the second round, to ensure relevant wines are tasted at their best. A final Food Match round rewards the wines that pair best with classic restaurant dishes.
- Trophies are awarded for House Wine of the Year, Gastropub Wine of the Year, Fine Wine of the Year and Best in Show. SWA also awards stand-out producers and merchant’s for the year.
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