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5. How the DAWA works

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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 tasting

Wines are organised for tasting by country, region, colour, grape, style and vintage to ensure that they are judged in flights against their peers.


DAWA 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 receive a Seal of Approval or to be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal in one session. Similarly, another session may yield fewer medals.


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

There is no limit to the number of Gold winners that can 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.

Best in Show 

The Best in Show is the ultimate accolade at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. In a separate tasting, the Vice Chairs will select the ‘Best in Show’ from the Platinum winners. The Vice-Chairs will be aware of the origins, grapes and vintages.

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