The Process

The IWC Judging Process: Ensuring Fair and Impartial Evaluation

The IWC's judging process is designed to guarantee the integrity and fairness of every evaluation, allowing all wines to be assessed on a level playing field. The process comprises multiple stages to ensure that only the best wines receive the recognition they deserve.


80% of the IWC 2023 entrants are very satisfied with the overall organisation of the IWC.*

IWC Processing: Three Essential Stages

1. Sample Arrival

Upon arrival at our depot, each wine undergoes meticulous scrutiny. It is checked, assigned a unique code, repackaged to maintain anonymity, and then dispatched to the designated tasting venue, fully prepared for the judging process.

2. Sorting and Photographing

In our temperature-controlled storage facility, wines are carefully organised by style and country, making them readily accessible for evaluation. This stage also involves photographing the wines, a valuable visual reference for our website.

3. Picking and Flighting

Wines are selected from the shelves and grouped into 'tasting flights.' Each flight consists of wines sharing similar styles and originating from the same country and region. These flights are placed into blind tasting bags, with unique identifiers to conceal their true identity. This meticulous process ensures that all wines are on an equal footing before they reach the judging panel.

IWC Judging: Three Rigorous Stages 

1. Round One

During Round One, wines are subject to initial assessment. They are either marked as 'out,' awarded a Commended designation, or advanced to the next round as potential medal winners. All wines marked as 'out' or 'Commended' are re-tasted by the IWC Co-Chairs to confirm the mark. Wines deemed eligible may be re-entered into Round Two for further evaluation.

2. Round Two

Round Two involves a more detailed assessment, where wines are marked as 'out,' awarded a Commended designation, or distinguished with Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals. Points are also assigned to the wines at this stage. The IWC Co-Chairs re-taste all wines to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the results.

3. Trophy Tasting

Exceptional wines that receive Gold medals progress to the Trophy judging stage. Here, Regional and National Trophies are conferred. All Trophy-winning wines undergo a final evaluation by the IWC Co-Chairs, who award the prestigious Champion Wine Trophies.


Once the judging process concludes, we prioritise sustainability. All bottles, residual wine, packaging materials, and corks are diligently recycled, reflecting our commitment to environmental responsibility.

*IWC Survey - May 2023

Rejoignez International Wine Challenge

  • Sponsors of the Supermarket of the Year Award
  • iFavine
  • Sponsors of the Great Value Sake Award
  • Sponsors of the Large Independent of the Year Award
  • Sponsors of Wine Educator of the Year
  • Sponsors of the South Africa Specialist Award
  • Sponsors of IWC Online Retailer of the Year
  • Sponsors of IWC Champion Sake of the Year
  • Sponsors of the Rosé Specialist Merchant of the Year Awards
  • Supporter 4
  • Supporter 5
  • Hillebrand Gori