Home News > February 2019 > A strong start to the 2019 Sommelier Wine Awards judging

The 2019 judging for the Sommelier Wine Awards has begun today, with over 60 sommeliers lined up to taste thousands of on-trade wines.

This year see’s new and returning judges and today welcomed a number of female panellists, with at least one female judge in each team, something the competition hasn’t had before.

The morning got off to a strong start for sparkling rosé, particularly English. In fact, English Sparkling wine has had a good day all round, will we see a repeat of 2018 where they won more medals than Champagne for the first time ever? Only time will tell…

Valpolicella has also proved popular with wines praised for their evolution and variety of style, whilst being food and value led. Barbera has also seen a strong flight but judges commented it’s difficult to know what the style should be like for this fairly unpublicised variety.

And finally, the afternoon was an overwhelmingly positive start for Barolo and ‘surprisingly elegant’ Australian Shiraz in the competition.

In contrast to this, the flights of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre & Blends from McLaren Vale in Australia divided judges more than ever because as Team Leader, Tom Forrest, commented: ‘they were all so stylistically different’.

A category that failed to impress our judging panel today, with just a few positive comments was Languedoc red wines with tasters remarking on the high alcohol content of many.

Judging continues tomorrow so make sure you follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for live updates.