Entries close for the 2016 Sommelier Wine Awards in less than a week.
Producers and suppliers wanting to raise the profile of their wines among the British on-trade and independent off-trade have six days to complete their entry. The competition is open to producers with and without distribution in the UK.
Christine Parkinson, head of wine for the Hakkasan Group and SWA Gold List Co-ordinator, leads the judging, with the nation’s top sommeliers and wine buyers, including The Tate's Hamish Anderson, Xavier Rousset MS, D&D’s Olivier Marie, Galvin’s Andrea Briccarello, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Roger Jones and Martin Lam lending their support throughout.
With around 200 categories and sub-categories available, new categories introduced in 2016 include cava and English sparkling rosé in the Sparkling sector, and a clutch of red and white sub-categories for both Austria and Germany.
‘SWA is the most relevant wine competition for the UK’s on-trade market,’ says restaurateur and consultant Martin Lam.
Reflecting developments in Spain, competition director Chris Losh is hoping to see Cava increase its presence in 2016. ‘And more interesting crémants, from the likes of Alsace, Burgundy and the Loire,’ he says.
‘Back in Europe, we always get loads of great stuff from Italy, Spain and (increasingly) Portugal, so I’m going to hope for a strong entry from Austria and Germany, and places like Slovenia, Turkey and Greece, too. The latter three in particular are the kind of wines that our tasters don’t come across so much and it’s great to see their excitement when they find something they like.’
There are still a few spaces available for sommeliers wishing to join the SWA judging panels. Please register your interest here.
Head to the Sommelier Wine Awards site to find out more about the competition, to register and to enter.