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?

For SWA 2021, the judging days will take place on Monday 8th March until Friday 12th March. Due to Covid restrictions, we will be holding 2 judging sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon of each of the judging days. There will be a limit of 20 judges per session, in order to maintain social distancing rules. Although we will be limiting the number of judges per session, we have choosen to have 2 session per day to make sure as many of our judges are able to jugde as possible. You don’t have to attend all of the judging days, but you’re very welcome to if you can. Please select the dates and sessions suitable for you when you register with us. The deadline for registration will be 31 January 2021.

Each judging day you’ll be put into a team with 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:

NEW to SWA 2021 - in our efforts to continually support the hospitality industry, we are opening up our judges' positions to sommeliers and wine buyers who have recently lost their position of employment due to the effects of the global pandemic. Our revised requirements for the 2021 competition are:

  • You have worked as a sommelier/ restaurant manager/ wine buyer for a venue/s in the on-trade in the last 6 months.

  • You are currently 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 some of the very best 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