Home News > September 2019 > Entries open for the Sommelier Wine Awards - which wines will set the pace in 2020?

Entries are now open for the Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) 2020. Run in conjunction with Imbibe magazine, SWA is the world’s only on-trade focused wine competition.

As a ‘somm’s eye’ snapshot of the wine world, the Sommelier Wine Awards has regularly picked up on trends before they become mainstream with consumers, such as the cooler style of New World Chardonnay and the explosion in English sparkling wine.

Both of these wine styles registered on the SWA radar before they were noticed anywhere else, picking up favourable mentions from the competition’s judges. Sparkling wine, rosé (both still and sparkling), Loire wines (across the board) and Australian Shiraz were star performers in 2019.

Emerging trends from last year included a surge in high-acid whites such as Txakoli and Vinho Verde and a renaissance from Central and Eastern European countries, as well as a surprise strong showing from Israel.

‘There are lots of wine competitions out there,’ said SWA’s chairman, Chris Losh. ‘But the Sommelier Wine Awards always has been and always will be different. Its on-trade only wines, assessed exclusively by on-trade judges. It’s the best analysis of what’s out there for the UK’s restaurants, bistros, bars and hotels.

‘It’ll be interesting to see whether these are one-offs or actual trends to be reckoned with in the medium to long-term. The wines that do well in SWA are also the ones that tend to end up on lists – and customer’s wine glasses – across the country. We’re really at the cutting edge of wine in the on-trade here.’