This wine competition is one of the very few in Europe who lean closer to the Australian Wine Show model, allowing for a better evaluation of the competing wines.
- Each judging panel will consist of 4 members – one panel chair, two senior judges and one associate judge. There will also be a Chair of Judges – Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, the first Master of Wine in the Balkans and South Eastern Europe.
- Competing wines will be grouped in flights of up to 30 wines.
- Red wine flights will alternate white wine flights in order to prevent tannin build up.
- There will be morning and early afternoon tasting sessions.
- Each taster will have a private tasting bench, separate from the other tasters of the panel.
- Within a flight, all wines will be served in separate wine glasses and will be placed on tasting benches before the panel commences judging.
- The panel chair will assign a different tasting order to each judge (e.g from low numbers to high or vice versa) in order to minimise impact of presentation order within a flight.
- Each judge will be asked to taste every wine at least three times over a flight session – one to write a tasting note, one to confirm the tasting note and place a provisional score, and one to finalise score. In this manner, the taster will have the opportunity to taste each wine over a long period of time, instead of the usual 1-5 minute gap given by most wine competitions.
- Wines will be scored out of 20 and could claim Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals.
- Tasters will not use a score card (a method that requires the taster to score specific elements of a wine and neglects the fact that the same element of a wine will have different gravitas in different wine styles) but they will have to judge the wine on an overall basis.
- After each flight session, the scoring sheets of each judge will be copied in order to check their performance. Each flight will have at least one wine served twice within it, helping verify consistency of tasters.
- After tasting a flight, the panel chair will start collecting scores from judges, averaging them and awarding medals when sufficient marks are attained.
- In case of significant disagreement between judges, especially senior judges, the panel chair will ask to re-taste the specific wine.
- After the conclusion of the meeting, the panel chair will create a mini-flight, consisting of all “disputable” wines, together with all wines nominated for a gold medal. The panel chair has the right to include any wine from the flight in this re-tasting session.
- Fresh bottles will be opened for serving on this re-evaluation.
- This mini-flight will be tasted by all judges tasting on the same bench, discussing one wine at a time, trying to resolve differences and reach a unanimous conclusion. In case this is not possible, the Chair of Judges will be called on the table and his decision will be final.
All Gold Medal wines (of the same styles/categories) will be served against each other at the final session of the competition, for selecting Trophies and Grand Trophy.