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USA Wine Ratings Judges Wines on Quality, Value and How They Look

Photo for: USA Wine Ratings Judges Wines on Quality, Value and How They Look

02/07/2020 Enter your wines in the USA Wine Ratings and take advantage of the Early Bird Pricing.

In picture: Tim Hanni, Master of Wine

USA Wine Ratings 2020 is now into its third year and can still claim to be the only major international wine event in USA that looks to reward wines that everyday wine drinkers can relate to as they are assessed not just on their quality, but what they look like, how much they cost, and what value they offer. Here’s how to enter the 2020 competition.

When USA Wine Ratings started in 2018, the idea behind the competition by its organizers Beverage Trade Network was to make it America's most relevant wine competition. Lot of competitions were judged based on quality and were not looking at the price or the bottle package which is exactly how consumers were buying.

For trade buyers, when they make a decision to add a new wine to their wine shop, chain or a restaurant, they look at 3 main things and assess the product. They look at quality, value and package and that's exactly what USA Wine Ratings wanted to do.

In order to comply with that objective, the judging panel of the competition needed to be from real trade along with master’s of wine.

Last year’s wine competition had a master of wine on almost each panel along with one retail buyer and one restaurant buyer giving it a good mix for a wine to be assessed.

The 3rd annual USA Wine Rating is all set to take place in San Francisco in October and includes top buyers as their judges again this year. 

New judges to look out for this year

TAMMY PATTON, Wine Buyer, Walmart

Tammy Patton is the Wine Buyer for Walmart, Inc. covering the West Region. She has a decade of retail experience with responsibility for Adult Beverage categories during the last five years spanning Wine, Spirits and Non-Alcoholic Mixers. Tammy began her career in Merchandising at Walmart following the completion of her Juris Doctor (JD) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Arkansas. She graduated from Walmart’s Merchant Leadership Program providing training in each of the cross-functional roles of merchandising including buying, financial planning, business analytics, category development, modular execution, pricing and replenishment. 

STEPHEN ALLISON, Assistant Wine Buyer , K&L Wine Merchants

Stephen Allison began his career as a cellar hand working the 2013 harvest on California’s Central Coast. After the year’s wine was barreled, he transitioned to hospitality while diligently studying all manner of beverages. He holds Certified Sommelier, Certified Cicerone, and WSET Level 3 Award in Sake distinctions and is a former Sommelier with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Today he works in the wine auction market with K&L Wine Merchants.

MARTIN R. REYES, MW, Principal, Reyes Wine Group LLC

A first-generation American, Martin is the first Master of Wine of Mexican descent. With a prolific career as a buyer, importer, educator, and more recently, winemaker, he has held influential roles in many sectors of the industry. Martin’s wine story began with an over-indulgent dinner while studying in Paris as a Stanford undergraduate and, by 2003, he was stocking shelves at K&L Wine Merchants in California. After managing a retail shop in Napa Valley for several years, Martin was hired as the principal buyer & importer for prominent wine club programs for The New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, and Williams-Sonoma. In 2015, he worked the harvest at Salomon Undhof in Kremstal. Also that same year, Martin was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top Forty under Forty Tastemakers.

GUS ZHU, Master of Wine

Gus Zhu is the first Chinese Master of Wine with a degree of Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis. His commitment to the academic field of wine is evidenced by his MW research paper about the sensory science of wine; and by co-authoring a review paper, “A Quarter Century of Wine Pigment Discovery”, published in the Journal of Food and Agriculture.

Gus provides education and consulting services at Gus Zhu Wine Consulting. With his 10 years of teaching experience, Gus tutors global WSET Diploma and MW candidates. He is also a tutor of the WSET Online Classroom and a guest lecturer at both the Dallas Wine Center and the Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting in Beijing, China.

KIMBERLY SHANNON, Beer, Wine and Liquor Specialist, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Kimberly Shannon is a Beer, Wine and Liquor Specialist at Giant Eagle, Inc. She is working with Giant Eagle, Inc from the past 7 Years and 11 Months. 

Key Dates:

Early Bird Registration Ends: July 31, 2020

International Registration Ends: Aug 31, 2020

Domestic Registration Ends: Sep 15, 2020

Warehouse Closes For Samples: September 30, 2020

Judging Dates: October 24, 2020

Winners Announced: November 09, 2020

Fee Schedule:

$85 Early Bird Pricing - From Feb 21, 2020, to July 31, 2020, Register Now

$120 Regular Pricing - From August 1, 2020, Onwards

(Prices in USD)

Quantity Offer

4 to 9 entries: 10% discount

10 to 14 entries: 15% discount

15 or more entries: 20% discount

USA Wine Ratings was launched in 2018 by the Beverage Trade Network, the US drinks events, services, business and publishing group. It is now back for its third year of competition with entries open now and up to September 30, 2020.

Sid Patel, founder of the LWC and chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network, explained what he wanted to achieve with the new event: “At all the major competitions, wines are judged solely on the quality of what’s in the bottle. We wanted to take a different approach, by asking our judges to look at wines the way wine drinkers do, adding appearance and value for money into the mix.”

Sid Patel hopes the USA Wine Ratings will help give consumers more confidence in the wines they are looking to buy.

The average wine drinker, he added, is not interested or qualified to go through all the quality tests, they just want a wine they can trust, suits their palate and makes them want to order another glass.

“People buy wines with their eyes first, and that puts a real premium on wines that are able to offer an attractive presentation, everything from the label to the brand perception. Including all three factors into the judging process produces results that are closer to the reality of the way consumers purchase wines and gives winemakers better feedback on how their wines are perceived by wine drinkers,” said Patel.

Judging criteria

To ensure each of these elements are carefully considered during the judging process, the point scores are broken down in this way.

• Quality Score: marked out of 50

• Value Score:  marked out of 25

• Packaging/Design Score: marked out of 25

Wines that score 90+ points are awarded Gold medals, while wines that score 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals.

View 2019 winners.

One major new initiative the competition organizers have done is the integration partnership with Get Drinks Delivered platform. All the winners who want to grow their direct to consumer business all over the world will be able to showcase their products and create their profiles along with the winners medals on BTN’s new Get Drinks Delivered platform. This will help the entrants grow their pick up and delivery sales while trade is picking up in the coronavirus period.

Winners will be able to go in their entry zone and launch their products on the Get Drinks Delivered platform with simple steps. BTN is giving first year of GDD service to USA ratings winners at no cost and will help them create more awareness to drive their direct to consumer sales.

If you are looking to enter your wines in the 3rd annual USA Wine Ratings, get your wines uploaded before July 31, 2020 to take advantage of the early bird pricing.

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