International Wine & Spirits Competition
October 5 & 6, 2024
Early Bird Deadline: August 9, 2024
Final Entry Deadline: September 13
Product Deadline: September 27
Competition takes place in San Diego on October 5-6
Sommeliers are some of the most influential stars of today's wine and spirits industry. Sommelier Challenge entries are judged by panels of certified sommeliers that hold sway over consumer, retail and trade buying decisions. Wine and spirits entries are judged independently in a double-blind tasting format. Platinum, Gold and Silver medals are awarded, along with Best of Class and Director's Awards. Platinum-winning wines receive full reviews at WineReviewOnline.com, and Platinum-winning spirits are reviewed at SpiritsReviewOnline. Other benefits include:
- Public tastings of top award winners
- Numerical ratings for Gold and Platinum winners
- Publicity campaign on competition results
- Published reviews of Platinum winners
- Free digital medalion artwork to promote your awards
Rich Cook, Competition Director
+1 (760) 522-3167
Somms Find Greatness Across the Price Spectrum
(October 3, 2023) Blind tastings always prove to be a great equalizer, and the 2023 Sommelier Challenge judges showed this truth clearly, choosing 86 wines priced from $6.99 to $275.00 as worthy of the competition’s top honor - Platinum. At the upper end of the scale, the 2019 Miguel Caratachea Cabernet Sauvignon “Venerable Vines” from Napa Valley took the Domestic Wine of the Year prize with a score of 98 points, and the 2019 Wakefield Shiraz “The Pioneer” from Clare Valley, Australia nabbed a big accolade as our Imported Wine of the Year. But as any good sommelier will tell you, the most fun part of the job is being able to recommend great wines that won’t break the bank, like the 2022 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Gris from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, which took the Best of Show White Wine award at the modest price of $22.00.
The same ethos held true in the spirits judging, with top awards running a wide pricing spectrum. The Spirit of the Year, the Kavo Greek Island Asimi Rum (yes, Greek Rum!) at $28.99 was surrounded by class winners New Amsterdam No. 525 Vodka (Best Vodka) at $15.00 and Cierto Tequila Reserve Collection Extra Añejo (Best Tequila) at $289.00
Whatever your price range, I’m sure you’ll find some delicious offerings as you peruse our complete results here, including all our Wine and Spirits Director’s Awards, Platinum, Gold and Silver Award winners, and my in-depth reviews of all 86 Platinum Award winners. And next time you’re at a favorite restaurant, don’t forget to ask what your sommelier has just added to the list – it’s probably a perfect fit.
Thanks to all of our entrants, and here’s to uncovering more beauties in 2024 at the 17th Sommelier Challenge International Wine and Spirits Competition.