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Home News > January 2018 > A SWA workshop - judges briefing

A team of eager wannabe Sommelier Wine Awards Judges were put through their paces at Roka Aldwych today, as preparations ramped up for this year’s competition.

Veteran Team Leader Tom Forrest explained what they could expect on the day, and what the competition required from them.

‘You’re the decision makers,’ he said. ‘This is your competition. The important thing is to fight for the wines you believe in, and let your enthusiasm come through in your tasting notes.’

The teams tasted a flight of House wines and Tuscan reds – all entrants to last year’s competition - kicking out those that were deemed below-par and working as a team to award medals as they saw fit.

’You need to forget about the place that you work at and think about how the wines might work in a different kind of venue,’ advised senior Judge Charles Pashby-Taylor, who was tutoring one of the teams. ‘That’s what this competition is all about.’

Two hours later, with the loser wines relegated to the Case of Shame, and the winning bottles luxuriating in their medals, our new judges gave their reaction.

"Extremely interesting practice to judge a wine in a different way, with considerably different factors that aren't usually included in a wine tasting" said Maria Finocchiaro, sommelier at Hakkasan.