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3. How the judging and medals work

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Entries

Producers are invited to submit their wines and provide us with the wine’s technical details, price and retail availability. Four bottles of each wine arrive at the Decanter warehouse and are logged, categorised and coded according to country and region.

Organising wines for DWWA judging week

Wines are organised for tasting by country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price. This ensures that wines are judged in flights against their peers. The price brackets are:

  • Price band A – Entry Level: up to £9.99
  • Price band B – Mid-Range (Lower): £10 to £14.99
  • Price band C – Mid-Range (upper): £15 to £19.99
  • Price band D – Premium: £20 to £29.99
  • Price band E – Super Premium: £30 to £49.99
  • Price band F – Boutique/Icon: £50+

Medals

DWWA has judges from around the world, including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, and many of them are the foremost experts in their field. Judging is organised into categories, initially based on region. For example, Champagne will be judged by a panel of Champagne experts.

The judges taste wines individually. They know the region, style and price bracket, but they don’t know who produced the wine or the brand name. They then compare notes on the wine and reach a consensus on each wine’s medal.

Medal categories correspond to the 100-point scoring system used by Decanter and many top wine critics around the world.

Wines are judged on their own individual merits. That means it is entirely possible for several wines to be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal in one session. Similarly, another session may yield fewer medals.

DWWA 2021 JUDGING PROCESSPlatinum

Gold medal-winning wines are re-categorised by grape or style and re-tasted by a panel consisting of Regional Chairs and Co-Chairs. The wines will be judged according to their origin and the judges will be aware of countries, regions, sub-regions, grapes, vintage and price bands.

There would be no limit to the number of Gold winners which could be promoted to Platinum.  Within each grape variety or style, more than one wine from a specific country or region can be promoted to Platinum. The winners will be awarded ‘Platinum’ medals and wines with a price band below £15 will be awarded the ‘Best Value Platinum’ medals.

Best in Show

The Best in Show is the ultimate accolade at the Decanter World Wine Awards. In a separate tasting, the three Co-Chairs will select the ‘Best in Show’ from the Platinum winners. When selecting the ultimate accolade, the three Co-Chairs will be aware of the origins, grapes, vintage and price bands.

Results promotion

See here for all the ways Decanter promotes award-winning wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards.

All award-winning wines receive tasting notes and digital certificates. Producers also receive a ‘Winners’ Toolkit’ which explains all the ways Decanter promotes the awards, as well as what winners can do to promote their win.

Medal stickers
Medal stickers help award-winning wines stand out and give consumers confidence when choosing which wines to buy. Winners are eligible to purchase medal stickers here.

DWWA Tastings & Promotions
Decanter proudly promotes award-winning wines through its world-renowned Decanter Fine Wine Encounters, at major wine trade shows, DWWA-focused events and promotions with leading retailers around the world.
Click here for examples of past promotions and DWWA tastings around the world.

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