The 16th Decanter World Wine Awards Judging Week begins

Over 280 international wine experts have come to London to judge in the world's largest wine competition.

They will be judging more than 16,500 wines from 57 countries during the course of the next week.

The warehouse team organising the wines before they are taken to the judges to be tasted.

This year’s judging panels will include industry experts from across 30 countries and from a diverse range of backgrounds, including 70 Masters of Wine and 23 Master Sommeliers.


Follow the action live via our social media wall


Robin McMillan, Decanter’s managing director welcomed both old and new judges to the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards Judging week.

Robin McMillan, MD at Decanter welcomes this year’s judges

‘I’m really pleased to say that Decanter is in an incredibly strong place, with an incredibly strong trajectory and the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards are set to be the best yet’.

The Co-Chairs remain as they were last year; Sarah Jane Evans MW, Andrew Jefford and Michael Hill Smith MW will oversee all 36 Regional Chairs.

The 2019 DWWA Co-Chairs address the rest of the judges.

The Co-Chairs began their welcome speeches with a tribute to the late Gerard Basset OBE MW MS. Sarah Jane Evans MW said ‘He brought the best out of each and every one of us’.

Michael Hill Smith MW continued, ‘There are quite a few people who are respected in our wine business, but only a few that are beloved – Gerard is one of those people’.

In the opening speeches two mentions were made in relation to the quality of the judges at this year’s competition. Robin McMillan stated ‘I’m in awe of the group I am speaking too’.  Sarah Jane Evans MW said ‘We are in a room of exceptional people’.

Joining the 2019 panel of Regional Chairs will be Barbara Philip MW who will look after Canada, Jeannie Cho Lee MW overseeing Burgundy and Peter Liem in charge of Champagne.

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, new Regional Chair for Burgundy awarding a bottle a silver medal.

Other new judges include:


See all the 2019 judges


For third year DWWA Judging Week will take place at Excel CentrEd in London. Teams of judges with specialist knowledge in the same regions will work together to blind taste this year’s entries.

The 16th edition of DWWA has received wines from 57 countries. This year the competition has seen an increase in entries from countries including Austria, Canada, China,  Greece, Georgia, Russia and Hungary.

The first installment of DWWA, back in 2004, received 4,500 wines, this year there has been over 16,500 entries.

How the wines will be tasted:


Find out how the DWWA works here


The Decanter World Wine Awards 2019 is kindly sponsored by: