America’s top sommeliers and restaurant buyers to judge 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards

Master Sommeliers, Top Wine Directors, Restaurant Chain Wine Buyers and Leading Sommeliers of America to be part of the 3rd annual Sommeliers Choice Awards.


The goal of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list.

The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards will consist entirely of top sommeliers, on-premise wine buyers and wine directors at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. Sommeliers Choice Awards was first introduced in 2018 with the aim to benchmark the on-premise wine list and be a valuable tool for the on-premise buyers and sommeliers to add new wines. The competition prides itself on its unique value offering that it gives wine brands around the world for the American on-premise market.

View the first set of 2021 SCA Judges here


Sommeliers Choice Awards provides independent and honest reviews of all wines entered into the competition, based on several key criteria, such as Food Parability, Typicity, Quality, Value and Package.  All the wines are scored on a 100-point scale, and the highest-scoring spirits receive Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. A separate weighted score will be given for each of the parts of the judging process.

How The Scoring System Works

The top two questions that sommeliers will be attempting to answer as they judge wines is: “Would we stock this?” and “Will the consumer buy the 2nd glass”.

F (Food Parability Score) + T (Typicity Score) + Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = Sommeliers Choice Awards Final Score.

Michael Meagher MS judging at Sommeliers Choice Awards

Food parability:

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.

Wines are also scored for the glass during the judging process which allows restaurant wine buyers and sommeliers to have a clear distinction of the top wines by the bottle and top wines by the glass to order for their restaurants.


In the forthcoming competition, Judges will also be entering tasting notes for each wine which will result in a unified tasting note that will be provided by Sommeliers Choice Awards to the entrant in a way a sommelier would talk about the wine to its customer.


Entrants will get score breakdown, tasting notes and shelf talker templates in their zones which will further help wine brands position their message and communicate to end consumers.


“We are very pleased with the first 30 judges from a total of 80 judges that are planned for the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards. Our aim is to not only provide more value to the wineries and wine brands that enter, but also support the hospitality industry and sommelier community in 2021 without global drinks guides initiatives like Los Angeles Drinks Guide, New York Drinks Guide, Chicago Drinks Guide, San Francisco Drinks Guide, London Drinks Guide (all planned for a roll out in 2021) where top winners of the Sommeliers Choice Awards will be promoted to drive brand awareness and foot traffic of the restaurants where these top wines will be sold.” – Sid Patel, CEO of Sommeliers Choice Awards and Beverage Trade Network.