There will be no need to dawdle in the Tesco wine aisles come March when you will have at your disposal the list of winners of the London Wine Competition. These will be chosen by UK’s preeminent wine experts, including Sommeliers, Master Sommeliers, and Master of Wines who create wine lists for their bars and restaurants. They will pick the best wines to drink right now from thousands of wines from countries around the world.
Every year at the London Wine Competition, some of the UK’s most celebrated names in the industry come together to judge wines based on their quality, value, and packaging. Where most competitions judge a wine by its taste alone, the London Wine Competition goes a step further to examine other factors that make a wine attractive to everyday drinkers.
Of course, we want a wine that is of great quality, but it should also be friendly on the pocket, and with so many bottles to choose from, it should stand out from the crowd with its attractive packaging. The judges at the London Wine Competition make sure that wines that make their list tick all these boxes.
For every wine their taste, they ask themselves the questions - is the wine bottle attractive, does it offer great value, how good is the drink in the bottle?
Depending on the wines’ excellence in all three areas, scores and medals are awarded to wine brands. The judges crown the wine bottles with one of three medals: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. These scores and medals are a great guide for choosing an ideal wine(s) to drink at a restaurant, bar, at home, and for gatherings and parties.
Thanks to these wine experts, every year, we have a list of some of the best wines from across the globe. Some of the unique choices from last year included a sparkling number from Canada and a Sauvignon Blanc from Moldova.
What does it mean to win Gold?
A wine must excel in all three judging areas and receive a score of 90 or over, it should impress judges on all fronts.
Inside the Judging Process
Quality: First off, the wines are blind-tasted based solely on their quality. The judges are looking for wines that are well-balanced, where their acidity, tannins, and alcohol levels all work seamlessly together to give a wine that is enjoyable to drink.
Value: When they say value, they don't mean that the wine has to be the cheapest on the shelf. As they are experienced buyers themselves they decide if the wine is priced perfectly for the quality it offers.
Packaging: This factor cannot be overlooked as many a time, we make a decision based on what we see. If it looks good, we'll get it. Judges look over the label, bottle design, and the such to see how attractive the wine bottle is aesthetically.
[Packaging scores being allotted by judges]
The judges then discuss the wines as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas.
Amongst the 2020 Gold winners, The Dead Arm by d’Arenberg stood out with 97 points, scoring a Gold medal. The Australian Shiraz wowed the judges in all three categories, and took home the title of ‘Wine of the Year’, ‘Best in the show by Country [Australia]’, ‘Best in the show by Varietal [Shiraz]’, and also ‘Best wine by Quality’. The Australian winery d’Arenberg also won ‘Best Winery of the Year’.
Barbara Drew from Berry Bros & Rudd, Greg Sherwood from Hanford Wines, Clement Robert MS from The Birley Clubs are just a few of the names that will grace the 2021 judging panel of the London Wine Competition.
These judges are some of the most trusted names in the wine industry in the UK and have many years of experience and knowledge under their belt.
Best wines to drink: 2021
A list of the Top 100 wines will be released at the conclusion of the competition. This is a pick of the judges' top 100 wine choices from this year's entrants.
We leave you with 2020’s Gold winners; no guesswork required here, only the best of the best make it to this list.