Wines from the USA snatch the most gold medals, Germany triumphs in special category awards, and many other countries win medals.
The first edition of the Sommeliers Choice Awards, which judges wines based on Food Parability, Typicity, Value, Quality, and Package, saw a plethora of entries from across the globe, including USA, Italy, France, South Africa, Australia, and more.
Weingut Reichsrat von Buhl GmbH’s Armand Riesling Kabinnet snatched a double gold medal, grabbing “White Wine of the Year”, “White Wine of the Year (By the Glass)” , “Wine of the Year (By the glass)”, “Wine of the Year by Country (Germany)” and “Wine of the Year by Varietal (Riesling)”.
Not to be outdone, USA also found its place in the special category medallist. Hedges Family Estate’s Descendants Liegeois Dupont (DLD) Syrah seized a double gold, securing 4 special category awards, namely, “Wine of the Year” , “Red Wine of the Year” , “Wine of the Year by Country (USA)” and “Wine of the Year by Varietal (Syrah)”.
Sparkling wines also found their place on the on-premise map, with Schlumberger by Niche Import Co.securing “Sparkling Wine of the Year” and Zonin Prosecco by Zonin USA Inc grabbing “Sparkling Wine of the Year by the Glass”.
AOP Vin de Savoie Chignin Bergeron Old Vines, Château de la Gentilhommiere by Vignobles Perceval took home “Wine of the Year by Country” from French entries, whilst Mitchell Wines by Red Earth Wines grasped “Wine of the Year by Country” amongst all Australian entries.
According to Sid Patel, CEO of the event organizer, Beverage Trade Network, “Idea of Sommeliers Choice Awards is to put the best judges forward to evaluate the best on-premise wines for the consumers. We were very pleased with the quality of the wines we received in the first year of the competition”
Wines entered at the Sommeliers Choice Awards were tasted and assessed by over twenty wine industry professionals. The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards consisted entirely of top sommeliers, wine directors and on-premise buyers at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs.
2019 Sommeliers Choice Awards’ judge Marc Kauffman said “I really enjoyed the judging. I think this format is very valuable. In fact, it is to my knowledge the only on-premise focused judging of wines anywhere. This competition definitely offers producers a way to differentiate their wines and focus on restaurants The “by the glass” category is also very valuable for evaluating a potential selection. If anything we all were intent on looking at the better points of the entries rather than trying to downgrade for flaws which is the more standard practice at most “traditional” wine judging”
The Sommeliers Choice Awards looks to identify wines that would make a compelling addition to any wine list. The aim of the awards is simply to provide independent and honest reviews for brands that are looking to enter the U.S. on-premise wine market.