The Awards’19 is a training tool created to allow producers from all over the world to have their wines, beers, ciders and spirits blind tasted in the same context as a competition by the 22 participants of the SOMM360 bootcamp. For the occasion, these sommeliers, among the best in the world, became judges. Some of them were preparing for  the Best Sommelier of the World competition, while others were  aiming to obtain their MS, MW or WSET certification. The organizers of SOMM360 designed the Awards’19 with a unique goal in mind: to provide another opportunity for the various professionals to help each other. Here’s  how they achieved it.
The Awards’19 Unveiled
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Product Listing from The Awards’19
1849 wine
Declaration, 2015
United States, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (11%), Syrah (2%)
1849 wine
Iris, 2016 United States, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
1849 wine
Triumph, 2015 United States, Sonoma County Petite Syrah (40%), Petit Verdot (35%), Syrah (10%), Cabernet Sauvignon (5%)
Charles Smith
Kung Fu Girl Riesling, 2016 United States, Washington State Riesling
Winzerhof Schlosser
Riesling Mondscheinlese, 2017 Austria Niederösterreich Riesling
Keltenwein Sandberg, 2017 Austria Niederösterreich
Grüner Veltliner
Ruffino Wines
Il Ducale, 2016
Italy, Toscana IGT
Sangiovese (60%), Merlot (20%), Syrah (20%)
Domaine Chanson
Le Bourgogne, 2016
France, Bourgogne AOC
Pinot Noir

Orin Swift
Palermo, 2016
United States, California, Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Masi Agricola SPA
Brolo Campofiorin Oro, 2014
Italy, Rosso del Veronese IGT
Corvina (80%), Rondinella (20%)
Whitehaven Wines
Whitehaven Pinot Noir, 2015
New Zealand, Marlborough
Pinot Noir
Louis M. Martini
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 United States, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Orin Swift
Blank Stare, 2017
United States, Russian River Valley
Sauvignon Blanc (97%), Muscat (3%)
Esterhazy Wein
Leithaberg DAC
Chardonnay, 2016 Austria, Leithaberg DAC
Gruber Röschitz Wein
Ried Königsberg Riesling, 2017 Austria, Riesling - Ried Hundspoint
Weinviertel DAC, 2017 Austria, Weinviertel DAC Grüner Veltliner
Conde Vimioso
Sommelier Edition, 2015 Portugal, Tejo Touriga Nacional (40%), Aragonez (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Alicante Bouschet (10%)
Johanneshof Reinisch
Rotgipfler Ried Satzing, 2017 Austria, Thermenregion Rotgipfler
Roederer Estate
Brut Rosé Non-vintage United States, Anderson Valley Pinot noir (55%), Chardonnay (45%)
Château Tour des Gendres
Cuvée des Conti, 2016 France, Bergerac AOC Sémillon (50%), Sauvignon blanc (40%), Muscadelle (10%)
Les Vins Bonhomme
El Grand Bonhomme, 2015 Spain, Castilla y Leon Tempranillo - El Bonhomme, 2017 Spain, Valencia DO Monastrell (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (50%)

1769 Distillery
Madison Park Barrel-aged Gin Non-vintage Canada
Bodegas Riojanas
Monte Real Reserva, 2014 Spain, Rioja DOC Tempranillo
Ropiteau Frères
Ropiteau Chardonnay, 2016 France, Bourgogne AOC Chardonnay
Weinbau Uwe Schiefer
Blaufränkisch eisenberg dac vom blauen schiefer, 2015 Austria, Eisenberg DAC Blaufränkisch
Hager Matthias
Riesling Alte Reben, 2015 Austria, Niederösterreich Riesling
Marchesi Mazzei
Zisola, 2016 Italy, Sicilia DOC Nero d’Avola (100%) - Tenuta Belguardo Serrata, 2015 Italy, Maremma Toscana IGT Sangiovese (80%), Alicante Nero (20%)
Fattoria La Ripa
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, 2008 Italy Sangiovese (95%), Canaiolo (5%)
Gilvesy Pincészet
Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Hungary Sauvignon Blanc
Château Tour des Gendres
Moulin des Dames, 2016 France, Bergerac AOC Sauvignon Blanc

Weingut Erwin Tinhof
Golden Erd Neuburger, 2016 Austria, Burgenland Neuburger
Notre-Dame de Cousignac, 2015 France, Côtes du Rhône AOC Grenache, Syrah
Weingut Feiler-Artinger
Ruster Ausbruch Pinot Cuvée, 2016 Austria, Burgenland Pinot Blanc (65%), Chardonnay (21%) Pinot Gris (13%)
Weingut Schloss Goberlsburg
Ried Heiligenstein 1.ÖTW Riesling, 2017 Austria, Kamptal DAC Riesling
Gil Family Estate
Atteca, 2015 Spain, Calatayud DO Garnacha - Juan Gil Monastrell, 2015 Spain, Jumilla DO Monastrell
Weingut Nigl
Ried Goldberg Riesling, 2017 Austria, Kremstal DAC Riesling
Zantho, 2016 Austria, Burgenland Sankt Laurent
Winery Franz & Christine Netzl
Ried Altenberg Weißburgunder, 2017 Austria, Carnuntum Weißburgunder
Weinkellerei Lenz Moser
Lenz Moser Prestige Beerenauslese, 2015 Austria, Burgenland Chardonnay (58%), Sämling (22%), Grüner Veltliner (12%), Welschriesling (3%), Bouvier (5%) - Carpe Diem Mariage, 2015 Austria, Burgenland Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), Merlot (15%)
Clos Henri
Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 New Zealand, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Meiomi Wines
Meiomi Rosé, 2017 United States, California Pinot Noir
Weingut Weszeli
Ried Schenkenbichl 1.ÖTW Grüner Veltliner, 2015 Austria, Kamptal DAC Grüner Veltliner
Unibroue Brewery
La Fin du Monde Non-Vintage Canada Triple - À Tout le Monde Non-Vintage Canada Belgian style dry, Hopped Saison
Absinthe Larusée Bleue Non-Vintage Switzerland
With The Awards’19, the goal was to offer a double opportunity for members of the industry, as well as for sommeliers and wine and alcohol producers from all over the world. For the 22 sommeliers from 20 different countries who were registered at the bootcamp, The Awards’19 was an opportunity to test their blind tasting skills, improve their public-speaking ability and sharpen their skills in food and alcohol pairing.

To do this, each of the 22 sommeliers who became judges for The Awards’19 had to blind taste up to 12 products (wine, beer, cider, sake, spirits). More than 200 products were submitted.
For winegrowers and producers of spirits, cider, beer or sake from all over the world, The Awards’19 was also an opportunity not to be missed, since the event offered them the chance to have some of their alcohols tasted by 22 expert sommeliers. This competition also provided the producers with additional visibility. In return, they helped with the training of the sommeliers, who are often the link between their work, their products and the public.
The procedure
On November 28, the organizing committee orchestrated the tasting by first ensuring that the more than 200 products entered in The Awards’19 were prepared in a logical order of service (white wines, red wines, etc.) But, unlike international competitions that judge wines or spirits by category, the committee had opted to create a logical assortment (white wine with white wine, red wine with red wine, etc.), without creating categories by product type. This avoided comparisons between several Pinot Noirs or Chardonnays from different sources, for example. Wines or spirits were therefore judged for themselves, without reference to other similar alcohols. Another important point: the 22 sommeliers participating in the bootcamp who turned into judges for the occasion did not receive any information of any kind on the products to be blind tasted before or during the event.
This reciprocal approach, which unites sommeliers and producers from all over the world, is one of the signatures of the international conference SOMM360, whose objective is to offer both continuous training conditions for sommeliers and networking opportunities between industry professionals.
Each product was served at the right temperature, whether it was wine, cider, beer, spirits or sake. Each tasting could not exceed seven minutes and was done in front of other industry professionals.
The tasting was carried out in the same way for each participant:
  1. Each judge first made his or her comments verbally and addressed the usual elements: appearance of the product, description on the nose and then on the palate, preliminary remarks and conclusion.
  2. He or she then described the optimal serving temperature and the aging potential of each product, and proposed food pairings.
  3. In a third step, the judge was asked to briefly put his or her tasting notes in writing.
  1. Then, the judge had to decide whether the alcohol tasted should be included in his or her list of favourite products at The Awards’19.
  2. At the end of the tasting session, the technical team revealed the identity of the products the judges had tasted, and the judges were invited to taste a second time, for training purposes.
The process was the same for each alcohol presented, and the procedure remained unchanged from one judge to another. The 22 sommeliers participating in the bootcamp who were named judges during The Awards’19 discharged their responsibilities with all the seriousness and professionalism required by their profession.
Photo credit: André-Olivier Lyra
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