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Judges

If you have judged for us in previous years, or registered with us before, please sign in to your account to update any information in your existing profile. If you haven’t, then you’re in the right place.

This is your chance to judge alongside Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine and some of the best names in the business in the only competition focused entirely on on-trade wines.

Not only that, you'll get to taste some amazing wine and spend valuable face-to-face* time with your peers. Over the judging days we provide breakfast, lunch and plenty of coffee. We also promote our judges and their involvement in the competition to our wider SWA audience through our marketing campaign and you’ll be featured in the annual Gold Book.

What happens at SWA?

The judging days take place on Mondays and Tuesdays for 3 consecutive weeks throughout February and March. You don’t have to attend all of the days, but you’re very welcome to if you can. Please select the dates suitable for you when you register with us (dates will be announced in October). The deadline for registration will be 31 January 2021.

Each judging day you’ll be put into a new team all including a Senior Judge and a Team Leader to help guide you. At the end of tasting each flight you’ll have time to collectively discuss your opinions and come to a group decision about the scoring of the wines.

All the wines are blind tasted by category and are judged on food-friendliness, versatility, typicity, personality and importantly, value for money at whatever the price. Judges are shown the trade prices of each wine as they are judging a flight.

A SWA Team Leader holds a free ‘How to judge at SWA’ tasting event typically a month before the judging begins, to help you get up to speed on how the judging process works. We strongly recommend that you attend this session as it is also a great opportunity to meet your fellow judges.

Requirements:

  • You must currently be working as a sommelier/ restaurant manager and serve or buy wine for venue/s in the on-trade, or are a leading consultant developing wine lists.

  • Must be over 18.

Benefits:

  • Take part in judging for a competition that boasts over 3,000 on-trade wines from around the world.

  • Taste a variety of different wines which are grouped into flights of roughly 10 to improve your category tasting skills.

  • Work alongside Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine as well as industry leading sommeliers.

  • Benefit from our SWA marketing campaign, promoting your involvement as a judge, including an online directory and in the annual Gold Book.

  • Whilst judging, you have the opportunity to mark down your favourite wines. These wines will be revealed to you once the awards are announced in May 2021. Sign back in to your judging profile on our website to see your very own favourites list.

  • Complimentary breakfast, lunch and refreshments during the judging dates.

  • The opportunity to attend a free training workshop on how to judge wine.

Unfortunately we are not able to cover expenses for travel and no payment is made for a judge’s time.

Register to judge now

*ensuring we remain COVID compliant