Competitions Vol. 25 No. 01

Grow Your Wine Brand In USA with 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards

Grow distribution of wine brands in the US market by getting your wines reviewed at the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards.

Wine brands looking to grow their distribution in the US market in 2021 can now take advantage of the early bird pricing for the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards and get their wines reviewed by America’s top Sommeliers, Master Sommeliers and Wine Directors. Early bird pricing ends on February 04, 2021.

The goal of the Sommeliers Choice Awards is simple: to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list. If you are looking to sell more of your wines to on-premise establishments such as restaurants, hotels, pubs, and bars of the United States, then you need to enter the Sommeliers Choice Awards.

As we see the restaurants and the hospitality industry bouncing back strongly around mid 2021 once we have 75% vaccinations done, this gives you a perfect opportunity to position your new vintages and wines in getting new account placements. 2021 winners will be announced on May 31, 2021.

Who Are The Judges? 

Sommeliers Choice Awards Judges

The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards consists entirely of top sommeliers, wine directors and on-premise buyers at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. In some cases, these sommeliers may also be wine consultants for on-premise establishments.

View full list of judges here

Scoring system

The top two questions that sommeliers will be attempting to answer as they judge wines is: “Would we stock this?” and “Will the consumer buy the 2nd glass”.

F (Food Parability Score) + T (Typicity Score) + Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = Sommeliers Choice Awards Final Score.

Food parability

Food Parability of a wine is measured based on the variety of dishes that wine can be paired with instead of just one or two.

Typicity 

Typicity is a term in wine tasting used to describe the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal origins and thus demonstrates the signature characteristics of the grape from which it was produced, e.g., how much a Merlot wine “tastes like a Merlot”. It is an important component in judging wine competition when wines of the same variety are judged against each other.

Quality

Quality will be assessed based on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. SCA will measure quality by Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.

Value

Value in this context means how well the wine is priced based on its quality. Judges will blind taste and write what they think should be the cost on which they will buy the wines and is fair. If they think it offers excellent value, the score should be close to 100 and if they think it should be priced lower, then the score should be low. The metric to be used here is the on-premise price vs quality.

Packaging

Packaging will be measured by how well judges think the wine will be perceived by the consumer. The package will be judged for the On-Premise market considering factors like label design and information, closure, and overall look. This does not involve boxes, cartons and bags. It is how they think the product will be perceived when placed on a wine shelf amongst thousands of other wines.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

In the forthcoming competition, Judges will also be entering tasting notes for each wine which will result in a unified tasting note that will be provided by Sommeliers Choice Awards to the entrant in a way a sommelier would talk about the wine to its customer. 

What’s new for 2021?

Sommeliers Choice Awards is pleased to roll out shelf talker templates in the entrant zone and also on the winner’s page along with the certificates. Entrants will now get tasting notes, shelf talker templates with tasting notes and scores breakdown in my account zone. This year’s entrants can now go into their account and see their tasting notes which is a unified tasting note summarized by the organizer directly from the judges.

Previous Competition Results

Entrants will be able to get detailed feedback which will allow them to see how their wines fared in terms of value and package especially when it comes to the on-premise sector. Entrants will get ready to use templates that they can email their retailers and distributors for free. Here’s an example of Sidewood Pinot Noir shelf talker.

Shelf Talkers

The Sommeliers Choice Awards was first introduced in 2018 to provide on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list. The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards in San Francisco will consist entirely of top sommeliers, on-premise wine buyers, and wine directors at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. Medals will be awarded to those wines that meet very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become additions to the restaurant wine lists. Wines will be judged according to criteria such as how well they pair with food items in addition to their overall versatility and other factors like Typicity, Pricing, Quality, and Package.

FEE SCHEDULE (Per Wine)

Early Bird Pricing – $90 per wine (December 11, 2020, to February 4, 2021)

Regular Pricing – $120 per wine (February 5, 2021, to April 30, 2021)

Quantity Discount Now Available

4 to 9 entries: 10% discount

10 to 14 entries: 15% discount

15 or more entries: 20% discount

Submission is now open for the 2021 Sommeliers Choice Awards. Brands can take advantage of the early bird pricing that is on until February 04, 2021, and get savings on the entry fee.

If you have any queries, please reach us on kevin@sommelierschoiceawards.com or give us a call on +1 855 481 1112

SCA can assist overseas wineries that do not have a US importer with clearing samples for the US market. Once you enter your wines, our team will reach out to you for TTB and samples.

Santé Publisher, Emiliano, is an education and publishing entrepreneur. He founded the digital version of Santé Magazine in 2004. Over the last decade, Santé has transitioned to an all-digital magazine and is syndicated worldwide on all major platforms. Emiliano's other passion, Knowledge Avatars, is a platform to create AI-powered tutors.

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