In its fifth year, the New York International Wine Competition (NYIWC) welcomed close to 1000 submissions from the United States and over 30 countries from all over the world.
The NYIWC is the only major international wine competition to be judged solely by trade buyers. Each wine is judged by its category and retail price. All participating judges have purchasing power through their stores, restaurants, distribution networks, which results in their ability to have a direct impact on brand sales.
Once again held at the 3 West Club in midtown Manhattan earlier this month, this year’s impressive judging panel included buyers from top retail stores, sommeliers, distributors, and importers. The judges were excited by the high quality of known wines submitted as well as the large number of new wines looking to break into the New York market and the United States as well.
What sets this competition apart from others is that the judges know the actual retail price of the wine they are judging and will the judge the wine as if they are buying it for their company. The wines are presented to the judges in their category as well as their price range. For example, the judges will be told that the wine they tasted is a “Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 or later” and whether it retails for $26 or $39.
All wines are judged in a blind tasting method and are sampled for appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel, and finish. Each judging panel confers together to come to a unanimous decision. The judges make their decisions knowing that their peers (other trade buyers in New York and throughout the world) will also be making real buying decisions based upon the medals awarded at this particular competition.
Adam Levy, the founder of the NYIWC states, “This wine competition is designed for both the consumer and the trade buyer for they both buy on quality and price. For instance, a consumer will walk into a liquor store or ask at a restaurant for the best “Merlot” at a certain price. The trade buyer also looks at their selection and will buy wines based upon the best value by category and price. Why should we not judge wine that way?”
Wines landing on these shelves are carrying awards designated as either: Double Gold, Gold, Silver, or Bronze though not every bottle entered received a medal, as is common practice with many other competitions. A Bronze medal indicates it is something a judge would buy; Silver medals designate the wine that judges really liked; Gold medals are affixed to brands that the judging panel believed was worth promoting to their customers. Double Gold is an amazing wine for its category and price.
The judges from the NYIWC take great pride in not being a “Medal Factory” like other wine competitions where over 80% of those who submit win a medal. We affectionately refer to it at “Third Grade Soccer” where everyone who participates win a medal. This year less than 30% of those who submitted won a medal. Our trade buyer judges take the judging seriously and honorably.
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