Home News > March 2018 > Surprises continue on the final day of SWA judging 2018

As you’d expect from the final day of the Sommelier Wine Awards judging there was a lot of great wine to taste today, including classic Bordeaux’s and wines from the Rhône, but also some really amazing ports and Prosecco.

Sommeliers across the room commented on the quality of the wines from the Rhône region, with both north and south showing spectacular wines priced anywhere from £8 - 30.

Less typical regions also displayed some brilliant medal wins, including; Slovenia, Lebanon, Turkey, Romania and Kazakhstan. These wines are not as well-known by sommeliers, but can offer something really different and are often really good value for money, and therefore tend to do well.

However, there was one exception with a very expensive Kazakhstan wine priced at £80 a bottle. Competition Director, Chris Losh commented: “we thought it was either made from the blood of fallen cosmonauts or the wine must have been aged on the near space station!”

The morning flights began with English fizz for some teams, with many wines winning Gold medals. Christine Parkinson, Head of Judging said: “It’s nice to see this category get a good stack of medals in different prices and styles year after year. It’s proof that the UK is really getting the hang of making sparkling wine work from the British climate.”

The afternoon saw a willingness from tasters to award medals to expensive wines from the New World, something the competition doesn’t see very often. Chris Losh said: “Our judges were happy to give some of these wines a gold medal and see how they could sell it in their establishments. Cheap and cheerful is clearly changing and lesser known European countries are looking exciting for the future.”

In terms of judges, the final day saw more sommeliers on teams than ever before including senior judges gaining experience as team leaders. We also saw new tasters who are really enjoying the competition and we can’t wait to see them back next year… already!