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
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,
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
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