The Sommelier Choice Awards provides on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.
The wines are judged in five categories: food parability, typicity, quality, value, and packaging. The judges ask: would I stock this wine, and is it good enough for customers to order a second glass? Wines are graded out of 100, with only those above 95 points winning the coveted Double Gold award. There are also category awards, with best in show given to white, red, sparkling, rose, and an overall winner every year, by the bottle and by the glass – reflecting how wine is presented in restaurants.
Here are the 2nd edition results:
No 1 Spot: Wine of the Year – 2014 Kalaris, Pinot Noir from United States
Wine of the Year – 2014 Kalaris, Pinot Noir from United States
White Wine of the Year – 2018 Château de Lacroux/ Vigne de Maurival, Mauzac from France
Red Wine of the Year – 2014 Kalaris, Pinot Noir from United States
Sparkling Wine of the Year – 2016 Cremant De Loire Chateau from France
Rose Wine of the Year – 2019 Sin Banderas from United States
Top Winners By The Glass
No 1 Spot: Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2016 Cuvelier Los Andes, Malbec from Argentina
Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2016 Cuvelier Los Andes, Malbec from Argentina
White Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2018 Cannonball ELEVEN, Chardonnay from United States
Red Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2016 Cuvelier Los Andes, Malbec from Argentina
Sparkling Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2016 Schlumberger Gruner Veltliner from Austria
Rose Wine of the Year – BTG (By The Glass) – 2019 Sin Banderas from United States
Top Winners By Varietal
Cabernet Sauvignon – 2017 Ehlers Estate 1886, Cabernet Sauvignon from United States
Chardonnay – 2018 Cannonball ELEVEN, Chardonnay from United States
Pinot Noir – 2014 Kalaris, Pinot Noir from United States
Merlot – 2013 Cuvelier Los Andes Merlot from Argentina
Shiraz/Syrah – 2018 Kirrihill E.B’s The Squire Clare Shiraz from Australia
Sauvignon Blanc – 2019 Chaleur Blanc Sauvignon Blanc from United States
Zinfandel – 2018 Angels & Cowboys Proprietary Red from United States
Riesling – 2017 Long Shadows Vintners – Poet’s Leap Riesling from United States
There were 17 double gold winners which scored 96 and more points along with 295 gold medals in the 2nd edition of Sommeliers Choice Awards. The 2020 competition saw submissions from 28 countries including some new additions like Trinidad and Tobago also taking part in this year’s competition. The United States had the top submissions where 576 brands were entered followed by Spain and Australia. The top 3 varietals submitted were Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reiterating the fact that these are one of the top selling varietals in the on-premise sector.
‘Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the industry,’ explained Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network, the Organizer company of Sommeliers Choice Awards, ‘and when we come out of this, we hope to see a strong rebound in the hospitality sector. The increased number of quantity in 2020 submissions truly demonstrated the faith our industry has in the long term outlook of our hospitality industry’.
Winners will also be promoted on BTN’s new direct to consumer portals Los Angeles Drinks Guide, London Drinks Guide and Get Drinks Delivered along with BTN’s trade portal Sommeliers Business and BevRoute
The top 100 wines for restaurants will also be marketed to sommeliers of the USA via the top 100 on-premise wines website.
In light of the covid-19 pandemic, the Sommeliers Choice Awards along with Sommeliers Business will be offering its support to the industry with Sommeliers Looking for Job pages on SB and SCA. Also a running blog has been set up to give updates on the covid and industry.
About Sommeliers Choice Awards
The goal of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is simple: to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.
Medals will be awarded to those wines that meet very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become additions to restaurant wine lists. Wines will be judged according to criteria such as how well they pair with food items in addition to their overall versatility. The number one question that sommeliers will be attempting to answer as they judge wines is: “Would we stock this?” and “Would the customer buy a second glass of this wine’.
How Scoring system works
F (Food Parability Score) + T (Typicity Score) + Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = Sommeliers Choice Awards Final Score.
Food Parability of a wine is measured based on the variety of dishes that wine can be paired with instead of just one or two.
Typicity is a term in wine tasting used to describe the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins and thus demonstrates the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced, e.g., how much a Merlot wine “tastes like a Merlot”. It is an important component in judging wine competition when wines of the same variety are judged against each other.
Quality will be assessed based on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. SCA will measure quality by Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.
Value in this context means how well the wine is priced based on its quality. Judges will blind taste and write what they think should be the cost on which they will buy the wines and is fair. If they think it offers excellent value, the score should be close to 100 and if they think it should be priced lower, then the score should be low. The metric to be used here is the on-premise price vs quality.
Packaging will be measured by how well judges think the wine will be perceived by the consumer. The package will be judged for the On-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.
A separate weighted score will be given for each of the parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.
Double Gold – 96 points and above
Gold – 90-95 points
Silver – 80-89 points
Bronze – 70-79 points