Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) has announced another record-breaking year for the prestigious awards, which are recognised as the largest and most influential wine awards in the world.
This year sees more than 18,500 wines from 59 countries being judged this week, making it the largest number of entries and submissions from around the world to date.
Decanter World Wine Awards results are trusted internationally with promotion of the awards benefiting from the competition’s unrivalled global reach.
The judging process involves almost 250 international wine experts, including 53 Masters of Wine and 19 Master Sommeliers, from more than 30 countries. Wines are meticulously organised based on region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price point to accurately benchmark wine quality.
To ensure impartiality all bottles are covered to ensure judges cannot identify the wines. For the first time in the competition’s 20-year history, DWWA also opened entries to wines packaged in cans, bag-in-box, Tetra Pak, pouch and other packaging formats in recognition of the quantity and quality of wines bottled in alternative packaging.
DWWA 2023 Co-Chair Andrew Jefford commented: “The USP of the Decanter World Wine Awards is really that it is a global benchmark. We are the biggest competition in the world, but also, I truly believe that we are the most trusted, and those two things go together to a certain extent. We get wines from all over the world – why do we get them? We don’t always get them because people want to sell in the UK, we get them because people want their wines benchmarked against wines elsewhere in the world by reputable, trusted tasters.”
At the first-round judging, held at Excel this week from 24-29 April, the best wines are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold medals. All Silver and Gold medals are then re-tasted by a Regional Chair for consistency. All Golds are re-tasted again by the Co-Chairs for final endorsement.
Following the judging this April a second round of tasting will be held in May. Here Gold medal-winning wines are re-categorised by country, region, sub-region, grape, vintage and price band and re-tasted by Regional Chairs and Co-Chairs. The best wines are promoted to Platinum.
In the final round all the Platinum wines are re-tasted and 50 are given the prestigious accolade of Best in Show.
On the competition’s 20th anniversary, Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW commented: “It’s very, very exciting to get to 20 years. Each year we come to it fresh, and each year there are more wines – we are doing more than 18,500 wines. It’s the world’s biggest wine competition, and what’s so exciting about it is the way it gets better every year. It just gets more and more professional, and of course, the other thing is the world is waiting! Producers are waiting, consumers are waiting, retailers are waiting; they want to see where these medals are going to be and every year we get surprises. DWWA may be 20 years, but each year is absolutely different so this is a very special anniversary.”
The results of all medal winners will be announced Wednesday, 7 June 2023.