From The Judge's Table: Insights from Marsha Wright, Assistant General Manager at DineAmic Hospitality

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01/04/2024 Marsha, an experienced wine professional, judges at the Sommeliers Choice Awards, highlighting trends like orange wines and lower alcohol. Winning a medal boosts smaller wineries' visibility and validation, with Wright's feedback aiding their growth.

The world of wine is vast and ever-evolving, with sommeliers and wine enthusiasts always on the lookout for unique and exceptional wines. It is in this dynamic landscape that the Sommeliers Choice Awards stand out, celebrated for their unique judging criteria and their ability to highlight the finest wines that cater to both the trade and consumers. One of the esteemed judges at the forefront of this prestigious competition is Marsha Wright, the Assistant General Manager at DineAmic Hospitality, whose journey and insights offer a fascinating glimpse into the heart of the wine industry.

Image source: marshawright

Marsha Wright’s journey into the world of wine began with a passion for learning and a keen desire to immerse herself fully in the field. Her journey started on a self-taught path, attending tastings and engaging with the community before managing wine shops and ultimately making a significant impact in the industry. Wright brings this depth of experience and passion to the Sommeliers Choice Awards, where her expertise helps identify the wines that truly resonate with today’s consumers and trade professionals.

Image source: marshawright

The Sommeliers Choice Awards is distinguished by their comprehensive judging criteria, focusing not just on the quality of wine but also on typicity, value for money, and packaging. Wright emphasizes the importance of viewing these elements through the lens of the consumer, ensuring that the awards reflect the preferences and desires of those who ultimately enjoy these wines. This consumer-centric approach is what sets the Sommeliers Choice Awards apart, aligning perfectly with what people seek when dining out or choosing wines for their cellars.

As a judge, Wright has observed emerging trends within the industry, noting the rising popularity of orange wines and wines with lower alcohol percentages. These trends reflect a broader shift in consumer preferences towards unique wine experiences and healthier options. Wright’s insights into these trends are invaluable, providing guidance for both consumers looking to explore new wines and producers aiming to meet evolving market demands.

Photo by jennifer causey/food styling by emily nabors hall/prop styling by lydia pursell

Winning a medal at the Sommeliers Choice Awards can be particularly impactful for smaller and emerging wineries. According to Wright, such recognition offers these wineries a sense of accomplishment and validation in an industry often dominated by larger brands. This acknowledgment not only celebrates their hard work but also enhances their visibility and credibility in the market.

Image source: Sommelierschoiceawards

Constructive feedback from judges like Wright is a crucial aspect of the Sommeliers Choice Awards. With a direct line to consumer preferences and industry trends, judges offer valuable insights that can help entrants refine and improve their offerings. Wright’s honest yet caring approach to feedback underscores the importance of supporting wineries in their growth and development, ensuring they can continue to thrive and succeed.


The 2024 Sommeliers Choice Awards results are out! View the results here.