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Description of the Competition's Awards                                                                                                         

The Competition judges its finalists alongside appropriate food. This places a limit on the number of entries we can accept and, in turn, the number of wines we can judge in the finals. First, we cap entries at 2,000 on a first-come basis. Next, we assess the wines varietally to skim off the top 20 percent - the cream of the total entry you might say. This immediately places a high value on this Competition's Awards. The majority of wine shows offer awards to double even treble that percentage of their entrants.

In order to judge these finalists with food, the judges group both the white wines and the red wines into three categories of similar palate weight – lighter, medium and fuller bodied dry whites and dry reds. This allows the Competition's Chef to create dishes that wines of this or that palate weight might reasonably be expected to carry. For example, the lighter bodied dry whites are judged beside a light entrée style dish with natural, quite delicate flavours. In contrast, the fuller bodied dry reds are judged alongside a rich dish with concentrated, evolved flavours.

In judging the finalists, the panel is looking at only the top 20 percent of the total entry, that is, they are looking at a very select group of wines. And for the first time, the panel independently and without discussion is looking at each wine in comparison with other wines of similar palate weight. In the first instance, they judge them purely as wine, as is done in every other wine show, wine against wine. Then the food is introduced and each wine is judged again, but this time, with the food flavours complexing the judge's palate before the wine is tasted and a final score entered. Our judges are often surprised by the differences between their score for the wine-as-wine assessment and their score for the same wine as a complement to food.

These wines have now been judged three times. The Panel's marks for their "wine as a complement to food" assessment are then aggregated, highest to lowest, Category by Category. In order to offer a good selection for each style, the top quarter of that Category's Finalists are awarded TOP 1OO status, the next quarter Blue-Gold status, and the third quarter Highly Commended Awards. There is no award for the last quarter of the Category's Finalists. However, those wines are entitled to claim Finalist status on their websites, in their Newsletters etc.

There is no attempt to calibrate the wines of one Style Category against the wines of another Style Category; Rosés against Fuller Bodied Dry Reds, for example. The emphasis is on offering a first class selection of wines, relevant to the wine style required - according to the all important wine lover's particular personal dining or entertaining requirements.

TROPHY WINNERS - In their various specialised Categories, the Competition's 24 Trophy Winners, amongst our galaxy of vinous stars, represent the elite wines of the annual Competition. (Yes, being vinous and a star, entirely possible.)

ENTER EARLY - Don’t miss the cut. Enter early; the On-Line Entry Form for the 2017 Competition will be uploaded no later than 13th June 2016. Subscribe to our free e-Newsletters to be kept informed.  Subscribe

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Images from the Competition
JUDGES & STEWARDS FAREWELL DINNER
JUDGES & STEWARDS FAREWELL DINNER
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