DWWA 2024 entries closing soon: A global benchmark for wine quality


Already the world’s largest wine competition, Decanter World Wine Awards continues to grow annually – the last edition seeing a record 18,250 wines judged from 57 countries.

‘It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that if the wine world does have a sort of unique benchmark, it might well be DWWA,’ said Co-Chair Andrew Jefford.

If you enter DWWA you know that there will be wines from all over the world in the competition’ Jefford added. ‘You know they will be judged against their peers, in their cultural context, by experts versed in that field. So we think we deliver the best possible judging job we can do. And after that, you have your chance to perform on the world stage.’

Hundreds of the world’s leading wine experts are recruited annually to judge at DWWA with professional backgrounds encompassing all areas of the trade from Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine to buyers, winemakers, retailers, distributors, educators, writers and consultants. Assessing wines in panels of three or four, these different backgrounds are important to provide outcomes that reflect trusted, independent decisions.

‘The judging process I think is very fair and that’s what I enjoy’ said DWWA judge Élyse Lambert MS. ‘We have the information to be able to evaluate the wine, the price category in which it’s found, the appellation, the percentage of alcohol, the residual sugar. All this information is very valuable when you evaluate the wine to understand where it’s coming from and to understand if it’s typical and has a sense of place, which most of the time is what we’re looking for.

‘I really like that we’re a panel of people open to discussion and arguing on some wines, defending our views and making it better, at the end of the day, for the end consumer.’

Last chance: Enter DWWA 2024 here

Regional Chair for the Rhône, Matt Walls added, ‘What I think is important about judging wines blind is that you can’t see the label; you don’t know who the producer is so you can’t go on reputation. It’s really just the wine in the glass, so all of the wines are treated equally, which for me is important. 

‘I think producers should enter DWWA because the wines are treated equally, because it’s a blind tasting, because the judges are some of the best in the world. It’s a very fair, very well run awards competition.’

The 2024 competition will see the return of Co-Chairs Jefford, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Ronan Sayburn MSMichael Hill Smith AM MW and new Co-Chair Beth Willard, alongside an esteemed line-up of 37 Regional Chairs and over 200 judges.

New Regional Chairs for 2024 include Michaela Morris for Piedmont, Charles Curtis MW for Champagne (as well as returning chair for Burgundy), Pierre Mansour for Spain, Wojciech Bo?kowski for Balkans, Caucasus & Eurasia and Amanda Barnes as Acting Regional Chair for Chile.

New for 2024

Recognising inflation and higher costs, price bands, unique to the DWWA judging process, have been updated to reflect prices consumers see in shops, online and at cellar doors to:

  • Price band A – up to £14.99 (Value)
  • Price band B – £15 to £24.99
  • Price band C – £25 to £49.99
  • Price band D – £50 to £99.99
  • Price band E – £100+

Categorisation of tasting flights is done by country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price point to ensure wines are judged against their peers, and quality awarded in relation to price point.

‘I think it makes a much more level playing field for all entered wines. This really means that we can very, very fairly pick out the best of those styles, from those certain regions, in those grape varieties. It’s the only fair way to do it,’ said co-chair Ronan Sayburn MS.

‘If you’re trying to recommend wine to a customer, one of the first things they may be looking at is how much it’s going to cost them. When judging, it’s important to know the price band to evaluate if customers are getting value for…

Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/dwwa-2024-entries-open-a-global-benchmark-for-wine-quality-515790/