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A wine competition is an organized event in which trained judges or consumers competitively rate different vintages or bands of wine. There are two types of wine competitions, both of which use blind tasting of wine to prevent bias by the judges.
Types of wine competition
The most common form of wine competition is intended to obtain valid comparisons of wines by trained experts. The awards are given to groups of wines in various categories on the basis of the blind tasting. The awards are frequently bronze, silver, gold, and double gold medals. However, ribbons of various colors are also sometimes used.These competitions often include a "Best of Class" award, producing a clear category winner among those vintages awarded a gold medal, for example the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. The other form of competition is most often organized by wine lovers and is consumer-oriented. The judges also evaluate the wines blind. However, instead of giving numerous awards, the wines are ranked by number from high to low in each wine category, a process known as ordinal ranking. Thus, there is only one first-place winner, one second place, one third place, and so on down to the lowest place.
There are critics who argue that the results of such competitions may be misleading and should not be relied upon as a measure of quality. Other commentators argue that, because of wine competitions, wine quality has improved in many countries around the world.
- New York International Wine Competition an annual international wine competition where the top wine buyers, sommeliers, importers and distributors judge the wine by its category and actual price. The New York International Wine Competition is held in May and open to all commercially produced wine from around the world
- Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA): Founded in 2004, the London-based competition now receives entries from over 47 countries worldwide and in 2014 received over 15,000 entries, making it the largest wine competition in the world. The results of the competition are published online and in Decanter's August Edition, which, is released in July. Chaired by Steven Spurrier, the DWWA brings together over 200 of world's wine experts including 66 Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers.
- International Wine Challenge (IWC): Annual British based wine competition originally launched by Robert Joseph and Charles Metcalfe in 1984 when they wanted to see how a set of English wines fared when set against examples from other countries. Metcalfe and Joseph presided over the growth in the competition to claim to be the largest in the world, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s Joseph launched International Wine Challenges in Hong Kong, China (Shanghai and Beijing), Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, Poland and India. Joseph resigned at the end of 2006, following the sale of the competition to William Reed Business Media. The UK IWC is still chaired by Charles Metcalfe and a team of eminent wine judges such as Oz Clarke and Tim Atkin MW. The results are published at the London Wine Fair and the Awards Dinner is held in the autumn.
- International Wine and Spirit Competition: 300 experts, considered to be the oldest and most prestigious wine and spirit competition in the world, established in 1969
- Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards (MIWA): Established in 1997, the MIWA is the only wine competition in South Africa of which all the judges are internationally accredited wine judges. Since 1997 a total of 262 judges from 44 countries have served on the judging panels. Founded by owner and managing director, Lorraine Immelman, the competition annually receives more than 1700 entries from South Africa as well as other wine producing countries. These are judged blind to determine the winners of 16 trophies as well as platinum, Gran d'Or, gold and silver medals. Trophies are awarded to particular category or class winners, including Best International Entry, Best Brandy, Best Garagiste Entry, Best MCC (Methode Cap Classique), Best Pinotage and Most Innovative Wine. Held in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, the competition introduced the Michelangelo Liqueur Awards in 2014.
- International Wine Contest: A competition organized since 1961 in Brussels by Monde Selection, an international quality institute.
- New York Wine Tasting of 1973: Fourteen experts, including France’s Alexis Lichine, ranked 23 Chardonnays from France, California, and New York State.
- Paris Wine Tasting of 1976: This notable wine competition known as the "Judgment of Paris". The tasting was repeated at the San Francisco Wine Tasting of 1978 and at the tenth anniversary Wine Spectator Wine Tasting of 1986 and French Culinary Institute Wine Tasting of 1986
- Concours Mondial de Bruxelles: “wine world-championship” with more than 6000 participating products from the four continents. As a whole, these samples represent more than 500 million marketed bottles.
- Wine Olympics (1979): A French food and wine magazine organized a competition of 330 wines from 33 countries evaluated by 62 experts.
- Great Chardonnay Showdown (1980): A total of 221 Chardonnays from around the world were evaluated by 25 judges.
- Grand European Jury Wine Tasting of 1997: European jury tasted three vintages (1989, 1992 and 1994) of 27 Chardonnays from seven countries.
- The Tasting that Changed the Wine World: 'The Judgment of Paris' 30th Anniversary. A 30-year anniversary replication of the 1976 Paris competition.
- VinItaly, an annual wine tasting competition held in Verona
- Top 100 Sud de France, annually selecting 100 wines from over 660 entries from the French Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. The judging panel is made up of 22 UK experts chaired by Master of Wine Tim Atkin.
- China Wine and Spirits Awards
- 2009 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
- Orley Ashenfelter and Richard E. Quandt Analyzing a Wine Tasting Statistically
- Concours Mondial de Bruxelles Intro
- Top 100 Sud de France website