- Enter The Competition
The International Wine & Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier Competition of its kind on the international stage. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world's best wines, spirits and liqueurs.
This is achieved through a rigorous two stage judging process of professional blind tasting (by glass not bottle) and detailed (chemical and microbiological) analysis. To ensure perfect conditions the IWSC premises included temperature-controlled cellars and three dedicated tasting rooms. View our judging video here.
Entries to the Competition must be available in commercial quantities to eliminate the possibility of "show" products participating and must be from an identifiable batch or lot. The Competition is unique in that all medal winners are subject to technical analysis before results are released. Products, which fail to comply with the EU legal requirements, can lose marks and in some cases may forfeit their award. Corkwise, the independent laboratory looks after the technical analysis of Competition winners.
Guardians of Quality
The Technical and Judging Committee gives independent assurance to the IWSC Board of the quality, integrity, accuracy and impartiality of the assessment of products entered in the Competition each year. Members provide expertise in all the Competition's product categories and disciplines and must be independent of the Competition, as is the chair, to avoid the potential for conflicts of interest.
Members of the Technical and Judging Committee
Technical Advisors to the Committee:
Jim Beveridge (Diageo)
Anthony Foster (Bonhote Foster)
Richard Paterson (Master Blender, Whyte & Mackay)
Arthur Nägele (Spirituosenakademie)
Angela D’Orazio (Master Blender, Mackmyra Svensk Whisky)
Geoff Taylor (Corkwise)
Dave Hughes (Freelance Consultant)
Sally Easton MW (Educator and Consultant)
David Wrigley MW, director of the WSET and technical director of the IWSC board
"The IWSC boasts the most highly qualified group of international judges of any wine and spirit competition in the world. We are inundated with applications from people who want to judge for the Competition, and have to turn people away every year. We make sure that our 40 MWs and our prominent trade judges from all over the world are balanced by knowledgeable consumer judges, who ensure that products are evaluated with consumer expectations in mind. All judges, including our MWs, must go through an induction process and a trial judging day before they are allowed to officially judge on a panel, and performance is constantly reviewed. We are not trying to be 'Big Brother', but we owe it to participating producers and the consumer to be as accurate and consistent as possible in our evaluations."