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Judging Process

Judging criteria

The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards will consist 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. 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 by Food Parability, Typicity, Value, Quality, and Package.

Meet Our Judges

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.

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

View Full List Of Awards

View 2019 SCA Winners

Judging procedure

The wines will:

- Initially be tasted blind to determine its quality, food parability and typicity. Judges will write down the price based on their assessment to late evaluate the value score.

- Judges will then determine the package and value score of the wine once they are revealed with actual price and shown the package. The package will be judged for the on-premise considering factors like label design and information, closure, and overall look.

- The judges can discuss the wine as a whole to help allocate scores in the five judging areas however each judge will give the wine its own score and the average will be taken as the final score.

-Judges will also mark 'By The Glass if they think the wine is a good fit for By The Glass.

-Food parability and quality will get more weight for their scores.

Judging dates

Judging will take place on May 16, 2021 in San Francisco.