Have yourself a very medal Christmas: International Wine Challenge Announces its Top Value Wines for the Festive Period

December 4, 2013
The 31st International Wine Challenge announces the medal winning wines that will ensure Christmas goes with a bang.

The International Wine Challenge announces the medal winners from the first tasting session of the 2014 competition, including some great value festive wines that would match perfectly with a Christmas feast. Three of the top scorers come from supermarket own-brand ranges and all retail for under £15, making them the perfect choice this Christmas.

  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Vintage Cava Brut 2011 picked up a much-coveted Silver medal and retails for £9.99. It is the perfect accompaniment to a smoked salmon breakfast and ensures revellers don’t break the bank with their breakfast bubbles.
  • Morrisons struck gold with its Signature Alsace Gewürztraminer 2012 from France. This spicy, aromatic wine is available nationwide for less than eight pounds. It was the only supermarket own-brand wine to receive a Gold medal from this first tranche of the competition, and works brilliantly with French onion soup and smelly cheeses.
  • A 2012 Pinot Noir from Waimea Estate picked up a Silver medal and perfectly matches roast turkey and all the trimmings. This seductively fruity Pinot Noir from the family-run estate on the South Island of New Zealand is available nationwide for £14.99 from Majestic Wines (which picked up High Street Chain of the Year earlier this year at the International Wine Challenge 2013).
  • Serve up the Christmas pudding with sweet Silver medal winner Hermits Hill Botrytis Semillon 2009 from Marks and Spencer (RRP £7.99). This medal winner is another success for M&S, who won the International Wine Challenge Supermarket of the Year for 2013.
  • After 30 years, the International Wine Challenge has made a fundamental change to its judging schedule, and will now be hosting two separate tastings throughout the year to accommodate the different production and sales schedules across the industry, giving winemakers a greater choice of when to enter their wines.
  • Tranche one has been added to the annual schedule and took place at the end of last month, and Tranche two will happen in April 2014, as in previous years.

Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, commented:

“These cracking wines will certainly wow your friends and family this festive period and go perfectly with your Christmas dinner. They prove you don’t have to overspend to get really special wines; these price tags should keep you smiling right into the New Year. We’ve discovered some wonderful bargains at this new November tasting session.”

Charles Metcalfe continued:

“By hosting two separate tasting events across the year, we are ensuring that no matter where or when a wine is produced, it will be given the best possible chance for success. For some wines, six months of additional ageing in bottle will be the difference between medal bands, and the implications of this could be huge for a winemaker. The quality of wine we saw at this new tranche has been excellent and we’re very excited about this new, improved schedule for the International Wine Challenge.”

For full list of results please visit  the International Wine Challenge website: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/