We run a structured and rigorous judging process. Wines not only are assessed blind by decision-makers but also showcased at the end of each judging session.
The IWSC runs a structured and rigorous two-stage judging process, first using the ‘double-blind’ judging method, meaning samples are tasted in pre-poured numbered glasses so that judges never see a bottle. Each spirit is judged by a whole panel in sync, allowing for group discussions.
Winning a coveted IWSC award isn’t easy, but that’s what makes the medal so well respected among trade and consumers alike.
Our panels of handpicked industry experts judge entries over seven months of the year to ensure a considered approach to tasting is adhered to for each and every wine or spirit.
The IWSC runs a structured and rigorous judging process, using the blind judging method to ensure judges never see a bottle. Wines are shared in decanters and spirits are served in numbered glasses.
Judges taste no more than 65 samples a day to avoid palate fatigue, and each wine or spirit is judged by a whole panel in sync, allowing for group discussions.
Our independent Wine and Spirits Judging Committees meet once a quarter to ensure the upmost integrity, accuracy and impartiality during the judging process.
Why do we need multiple bottles?
We want to ensure that if a wine or spirit is faulty or a bottle is broken, we can serve a fresh sample to our judges to avoid any of your wines or spirits getting an unfair score. If your wine or spirit is put forward for a trophy, we will use one of the additional bottles in these judging sessions. In addition, we often promote winning wines and spirits at a range of both trade and consumer events throughout the year.
Why are there different deadlines?
The deadlines are carefully planned each year to reflect differences in the global wine harvests around the world in order to present the newest, freshest products to the judging panels. For example, the deadline for New Zealand wine entries is as late as possible to ensure we can accept current year vintages into the competition.
In addition, we have a variety of judges from all over the world and want to accomodate their availablities to ensure the best experts are tasting your wines or spirits.
The multiple deadlines also allow the judging process to be staggered over a seven month period ensuring the judges only taste a maximum number of wines or spirits per judging session.
An outstanding spirit with a naturally exceptional balance, complexity and power. An example that immediately sets itself apart from others in the category.An excellent spirit with an exceptional balance and rare and complex flavours. An example that stand out against its peers.An accomplished spirit with good balance, strong character and good complexity. A classic example of its style or variety.A perfectly well-made spirit which provides an enjoyable drinking experience. A good reflection of the category style.
Wine scoring system
|An excellent wine with great personality. An example that stands out among its peers.||An accomplished wine with considerable personality, character and complexity. A classic example of its style or variety.||A perfectly well-made wine which provides an enjoyable drinking experience.|
Spirits scoring system
|Natural Gold 98-100||95-100||90-94||85-89|
|An outstanding spirit with a naturally exceptional balance, complexity and power. An example that immediately sets itself apart from others in the category.||An excellent spirit with an exceptional balance and rare and complex flavours. An example that stand out against its peers.||An accomplished spirit with good balance, strong character and good complexity. A classic example of its style or variety.||A perfectly well-made spirit which provides an enjoyable drinking experience. A good reflection of the category style.|