Home News > September 2020 > Entries are now open for the Sommelier Wine Awards 2021

Entries are now open

The Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) has always been one of the first competitions in the trade calendar, this annual lead means SWA is the first to reveal trends for the coming months to the drinks industry. But in 2020 the timing of the competition had even more advantages…

As SWA launches its 2021 edition it would be hard to ignore the challenges the industry has faced (and continues to face) in 2020. Just four days after the final samples were tasted by the SWA judges, the UK was advised by the government to stay at home, and just a week after that the country went into lockdown. Thankfully timing was on SWA’s side as it became one of the few drinks competitions lucky enough to go ahead in 2020.

For SWA, 2020 will not only be remembered as the year the term ‘new normal’ was coined, it was also the year SWA demonstrated its pioneering spirit yet again, and became the first-ever UK wine competition to go digital! SWA’s ongoing commitment to promoting sustainability within the drinks industry meant gone were the hundreds sheets of wine-spattered paper, and in their place were phones and tablets used by the judges to record their tasting notes. The new digital system, specifically tailored for SWA by Noteable, made for a quicker and more efficient judging process.

As always, many trends emerged from the 2020 competition, including stand-out entries within the orange wine category, as well as Japanese wines taking home medals for every Koshu entry, and not forgetting the record year Ribera del Duero had with 80% of entrants winning awards.

With 35% of on-trade professionals revealing they will be reducing their product range as a result of the damages caused by the global pandemic, SWA has become a lifeline for many of its 2020 winners. As the UK’s only wine competition focused entirely on the on-trade, SWA remains a snapshot of the best wines available to the UK restaurants, bistros, bars and hotels. And as entries open for SWA 2021 the competition continues to shine a light on the wines that are pushing the boundaries and offering the industry exceptional value for money, at whatever the price.

Wine producers should enter their wines here.