Victoria Burt is a Master of Wine, and works at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) as Research & Development Manager, managing the team that updates and develops the WSET study materials. She also teaches on Spain and sparkling wines at the London school.
How do you find the IWSC judging process?
It’s a great experience. I had a fantastic panel of seriously qualified judges. I looked at them and was like “wow, these people”. It’s been a great experience to exchange opinions with them and talk about our views on wine.
What are you looking for when judging wines?
The Gold medal-winning wines need to have that wow factor. For all wines that get medals, we’re looking for balance, fruit concentration versus fresh acidity, a good tannin structure if it’s red, and a long length. For gold, it needs extra levels of complexity. We don’t know the price levels at this competition, so we’re just really looking for a wine that sings for us.
Do you think that awards from the IWSC can help producers?
I think that awards can definitely help producers. A medal is a real selling point for a consumer. It’s a flag on the wine saying that a team of knowledgeable people have recommended that wine and so they can be assured of the quality in that wine category.