Over 50 wine professionals from across Asia have gathered in Hong Kong to begin judging the 2018 Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

This morning (4 September) saw the start of the 2018 Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) Judging Week, which runs from 04 – 07 September.

Over 3,000 wines from more than 37 countries will be judged during the course of  DAWA 2018 judging week by 50 wine experts, including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers from across Asia.


Follow live coverage of DAWA 2018 juding week via our social media wall


Both Sarah Jane Evans MWaward-winning wine writer and journalist, along with Jeannie Cho Lee MWauthor, wine critic and educator will be joining the chairmanship of DAWA 2018.

Jeannie Cho Lee MW, new Vice-Chair at DAWA 2018

They will be accompanied by Li Demei, Andrew Jefford, Michael Hill-Smith MW and Poh Tiong Ch’ng to oversee the competition.

This year also sees five new judges joining the judging panel for the 2018 competition:

  • Anty Fung
  • Sarah Heller MW
  • Mathias Camilleri
  • Wallace Lo
  • Leon Liang

See all judges’ profiles here


John Stimpfig, Decanter’s content director, said, ‘As some of you may know, I have been with Decanter as a Contributing Editor for more than 20 years, but only recently joined as Content Director four years ago. And this is my very first DAWA. So I am extremely proud and privileged to be here with all of you’

‘Not least because DAWA is one of the world’s most important and prestigious wine competitions. And it is very fitting that we are here in Hong Kong one of the world’s great fine wine capitals.’

John Stimpfig welcomes the 2018 DAWA Vice-Chairs and Judges

DAWA 2018 Vice-Chair Sarah-Jane Evans MW who is new to the Chairmanship said, ‘All the judges are people of the highest calibre who really know this market. We have judges ranging from MWs, wine buyers, consultants, Master Sommeliers, importers, educators and journalists. So consumers can really trust the integrity of these results. And producers understand that if your wine does well in this competition, it will perform well with consumers too.’

Sarah Jane Evans MW, new Vice-Chair at this year’s DAWA

Li Demei, who has been judging at DAWA since 2014 and who is a Vice-Chair in this year’s competition commented ‘There is no question that the quality of wines being entered continues to get better. That is great news for wine consumers in Asia. And it shows how seriously producers take this awards competition. It is the most prestigious wine competition in Asia.’

Li Demei at DAWA Judging Week 2018


How the wines will be tasted:

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

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

After competing for bronze, silver, and gold medals, the gold medalists 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.

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.


Asian consumers will have the chance to try this year’s winning wines at several events this Autumn including the Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter on 17 November.


Results for this year’s DAWA will be available to the public from 24 September


The DAWA 2018 is kindly sponsored by: