Sommelier Wine Awards 2011

Drinks: Wines

Editor, Chris Losh

Where did the last five years go? It seems like only last year that we were judging the first ever Sommelier Wine Awards. In fact, we started back in 2007. Of course, then it was just me, 600 wines and 20 sommeliers in two rooms above a pub, whereas this year we had 1,500+ wines and pulled in more than 60 sommeliers to come along and taste them. 

As anyone who’s worked with the on-trade knows, co-ordinating a specific number of sommeliers to be in one place at one time is a challenge, but it’s one of the things that makes SWA what it is: judged by the on-trade for the on-trade. The judges are looking for the same things in a wine that you are: value, typicity, food-friendliness and versatility. The other point of difference is that none of the wines submitted to SWA are going to be in your local high street, so you can list any of the medal-winners with confidence.

I hope that the following pages are informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. It’s the most thorough and up-to-date analysis of the on-trade wine world available anywhere at the moment, so use these results as a fast track to great wines, as chosen by some of the best sommeliers in the UK. May your lists thrive, your customers go home happy and your coffers swell. ‘Til next year… 

Chris Losh competition director 


How it works


The Gold List

Essentials: Sparkling Wines & Champagnes: under £14£14-20, £20+, Sparkling RoséHouse Wines; Rosé; Varietal Classics: Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Shiraz, Argentinian Malbec; Sweet Wines; Sherry; Port; Other Fortified.

EuropeFrance: Loire & Sancerre, Chablis, Beaujolais, White Burgundy, Red Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhône, Rest of France; Alsace, Germany & Austria; Italy: Barolo/Barbaresco, Amarone, Chianti, Tuscany, Rest of Italy: White, RedSpain: Rioja, Rest of Spain: White/Rose, RedPortugal; Rest of Europe.

New World: Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Semillon & Blends; Riesling; Pinot Gris/Grigio; Gewürztraminer; Chenin Blanc; Viognier; Torrontés; Other Whites; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc Chile/The Rest of the World ; Syrah/Shiraz & Grenache Australia/Rest of the World; Cabernet & Shiraz; Pinot Noir New Zealand/Rest of the World; Malbec; Carmenère; Zinfandel; Other Reds. 

By The Glass Awards

Food Match Awards

Critics’ Choice

Merchant Awards

Golds by Merchant


What the trade thinks

Digital version of the entire Sommelier Wine Awards 2011 results booklet.

Hot and not: The trends from SWA2011

The best-performing and most disappointing categories from this year’s competition

About Author

Since its launch in March 2007, Imbibe magazine has established itself as the UK’s leading publication for on-trade drinks professionals. Imbibe’s editorial coverage takes in all the main drinks categories, from wine to water, spirits to soft drinks.

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