The latest People’s Choice Wine Awards ceremony took place earlier this week and I was honoured to be among some great wine connoisseurs plus the amazing wines showcased at the event.
The awards has now been running for a few years, with me being lucky enough to have been involved as a Judge for the last two years, with this years being bigger in a number of ways.
The number of importers, wine makers and supermarkets involved has been growing, along with the number of categories that the wines are judged on. Unlike other awards, the categories that can be entered are centred around specific occasions. IE a wine that would be great with a hearty meal, or a Fabulous Fizz that comes from the UK.
Each of these are then judged in a blind tasting, where you have no idea what the wine is or who produced it. Each table in this round is made up of those within the wine industry including buyers, tutors and students of the WSET.
As well as those involved in wine, there are also those who have no formal qualifications other than a genuine love of wine. Its this element that makes these awards unique and allows consumers to understand what other wine drinkers would buy for each of the occasions, wines judged by people just like them.
When I first took part in the judging, I was one of the everyday wine drinkers, however following being asked to take part in the round 2 judging, I was inspired to start my journey acquiring the WSET qualification myself.
The second round of Judging is where the real expects have their say, from the shortlisted wines picked out by the consumers, mixing with a wealth of wine experience really was an incredible experience.
This years prize giving was also an even bigger occasion than last years, with a whole host of names from the world of wine attending.
As well as Kate Goodman and Amelia Singer (Who flew in from LA to be there) taking to the stage to host once more, this year they were also joined by other familiar faces including The Wine Shows very own Joe Fattorini, with whom I couldn’t resist a selfie.
Following a taste of a somewhat small number of the shortlisted wines, now with their labels in full view, there was a chance to mingle and chat to friends old and new. The room was full of some familiar faces, but there was also lots of newcomers to the awards, once again highlighting its fantastic growth and reach.
The prize giving took place within the auditorium with Kate and Amelia also being joined on stage by comedian Steve Royal who helped to keep the fun filled night running.
As the winners were announced, they were invited up on stage to collect their award – a custom framed sketch by acclaimed cartoonist Tony Husband, who was once again in attendance.
If you are interested in reading about the shortlist and the winners, they are all listed on their website here.
It has been so good to see this consumer championing awards grow and grow. I’m sure it will continue to do so even more in the coming years. With so many people now wanting to be involved I can only sit back and hope that I can get another chance to be involved again in the future.