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Beverage Trade Network announced the launch of a new wine competition, the Sommeliers Choice Awards, which will become the first international wine competition within the United States judged entirely by sommeliers only. The competition will focus exclusively on the needs of on-premise establishments such as bars, restaurants, lounges and clubs, making this competition fundamentally different from any other wine competition within the U.S.

The goal of the new Sommeliers Choice Awards is simple: to provide experienced on-premise buyers and sommeliers a valuable benchmark for understanding which wines would make a compelling addition to a wine list. As a result, the Sommeliers Choice Awards has the potential to become the most prestigious competition for wine lists in the USA.

A sommelier in a top New York City restaurant, for example, will now have a valuable tool for recognizing which wines – especially wines from up-and-coming international wine regions – would make an important addition to that restaurant’s wine list. That is particularly important in today’s competitive marketplace, where on-premise establishments are using their wine lists as an important and valuable way to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.

“We really wanted a way to recognize those wines that would be a great addition to wine lists at restaurants, bars and clubs,” said Sid Patel, Founder and CEO of Beverage Trade Network. “Whether sommeliers are looking to plug a very specific gap in their existing wine list, or construct an entirely new wine list from scratch, what better advice could they get than from fellow sommeliers? Wines that win medals at the Sommeliers Choice Awards have received acclaim by the very best in the business.”

The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards will consist entirely of top sommeliers at U.S. restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. In order to be selected as a judge, sommeliers need to provide evidence of their expertise within the on-premise industry. In some cases, these sommeliers may also be wine consultants for on-premise establishments. They may also have a buying role in addition to working on the restaurant floor.

Medals will be awarded to those wines that meet very specific judging criteria, with a goal of identifying wines that should become additions to 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. Highest marks will be awarded to wines that provide value for money at their respective price points. Judges know the trade prices of each wine as they are judging each flight. The number one question that sommeliers will be attempting to answer as they judge wines is: “Would we stock this?”

List of Sommeliers Choice Awards

Double Gold – 96 points and above
Gold – 90-95 points
Silver – 80-89 points
Bronze – 70-79 points

Wine of the Year
White Wine of the Year
Red Wine of the Year
Sparkling Wine of the Year
Rose Wine of the Year
Fortified Wine Of The Year

Wine of the Year - BTG (By The Glass)
White Wine of the Year - BTG (By The Glass)
Red Wine of the Year - BTG (By The Glass)
Sparkling Wine of the Year - BTG (By The Glass)
Rose Wine of the Year - BTG (By The Glass)
Fortified Wine Of The Year - BTG (By The Glass)

Other special awards

Importer of the Year
Distributor of the year
Wine of the Year (By Country) - Only top 10 Countries (USA, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Germany, South Africa)
Wine of the Year (By Varietal) - Only top 10 Varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pino Noir, Merlot, Shiraz/Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Pino Grigio/Gris, Riesling)

About Beverage Trade Network

Beverage Trade Network (BTN) is a global media and B2B networking platform servicing suppliers, buyers and beverage professionals in the global beverage industry. BTN also owns BevRoute, a magazine for Importers and Distributors and runs a lineup of trade shows around the world which includes  USA Trade Tasting in New York,  IBWSS UK  in London,  IBWSS USA  in San Francisco, ABID Conference in the USA. Beverage Trade Network also owns and runs the London Wine Competition, London Beer Competition, London Spirits Competition, USA Wine Ratings.

Please learn more about Beverage Trade Network here.