About the Challenge

In its 39th year, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is accepted as the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential annual wine competition. 

There is one annual tasting for the International Wine Challenge (IWC). This will take place in April every year.


The rigorous IWC judging process assesses every wine ‘blind’ and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.  Each IWC medal-winning wine will be tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 2 panels of judges tasting together, and then tasted by 2 Co-Chairs to verify the panel results.  The IWC judging teams include experts and influencers from the international wine industry, commercial decision makers, buyers and MWs working in unison to find the highest quality wines each year from the 52 wine-producing countries represented in the competition.

Why is IWC competition different?

  • An IWC medal-winning wine is tasted by a minimum of 8 judges before being awarded. The rigorous process is respected by international wine retailers and buyers and opens the door for international trade communication.
  • All wines are tasted blind with no pricing or producer information provided.  Wines are grouped by Type, Region, Alcohol & Sugar %, ensuring similar wines are judged together.
  • All IWC wine results are hosted on the IWC website alongside a bottle photo to ensure trade and consumers can easily identify the winning wine.

IWC Medal system

  • Trophy Winners and Special Awards ‘Best in Show’ wines and winemakers 
  • Gold Medal (95 – 100 points)
  • Silver Medal (90 – 94 points)
  • Bronze Medal
  • Commended Award 

IWC 2023 Timeline 

There is one annual tasting for the International Wine Challenge (IWC). This will take place in April every year.

Entry October 2023 - 15 March 2024
Consolidated shipping (Hellmann)  TBC
Private courier shipping deadline  By 15 March 2024
Private courier shipping deadline (within UK) 25 March 2024
Judging - Medals 15-25 April 2024
Judging - Trophy 28-29 April 2024
Medal Results 16 May 2024
Trophy Results 21 May 2024
IWC Awards announcement TBC


Entry Fee

Online entry per wine (no hidden fees) £153 +VAT*
Discovery Tasting per wine
(additional to entry fee) 
£79 + VAT*
Consolidated shipping (Hellmann) per entry

*UK only. European companies with a valid VAT registration number do not have to pay UK VAT. Countries outside the EU do not pay UK VAT.

IWC processing and judging: 7 stages

1. Sample Arrival

Wines from the depot are checked, given a unique code, repackaged and sent to the tasting venue in preparation for the judging.

2. Sorting and Photographing

On arrival wines are unloaded on to shelves in a temperature controlled storage facility. Wines are organised by style then country so that they are easy to locate. At this stage wines are also photographed for our website.

3. Picking and Flighting

Wines are picked from the shelves and put into 'tasting flights' – a group of wines with a similar style and from the same country and region. All flights are then put into blind tasting bags and tagged with their unique identifier to keep their true identity concealed. The wines are now ready for judging.

4. Round One

In Round One of judging, wines are either marked as 'out', given a Commended award or progress to the next round as potential medal winners. The IWC Co-Chairs then re-taste all 'outs' and 'Commended' wines to confirm the mark. If the IWC Co-Chairs believe the wine is eligible, it may be re-entered into round two to give it another chance.

5. Round Two

In Round Two, wines are marked as 'out', given a Commended award or awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. All wines are re-tasted by the IWC Co-Chairs to verify the results.

6. Trophy Tasting

Wines awarded Gold medals progress to the Trophy judging. Regional and national Trophies are awarded. All Trophy winning wines are re-tasted a final time by the IWC Co-Chairs who award the Champion Wine Trophies.

7. Recycling

Once the judging has ceased, all bottles, leftover wine, packaging and corks get recycled.

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