Cheers To That: Wine Awards Survive Covid As Judges Meet For Tastings

Published date: .

Nothing, seemingly, has escaped unscathed from the Covid-19 pandemic – and wine tasting is no different. 

But it’ll take more than a global viral panic to stop oenophiles from dishing out the awards for the world’s best wines, with Decanter’s judges completing their month of tasting notes and spitoons in Canary Wharf this week. 

For four consecutive weeks, some 116 expert judges made their way into Future PLC’s offices to sample more than 16,000 wines from 58 countries, as the world’s biggest wine judging competition – the Decanter World Wine Awards – finally got into the swing of things. 

Read more: Wine auctions livelier than ever amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Everything from disposable spittoons to latex glove-wearing waiters had a distinctly 2020 feel, with socially distanced lanyards ensuring the only thing shared were opinions on the latest vintages from across the world.

Co-chair of the awards Sarah Jane Evans said: “It feels like a way of the wine trade pulling itself together. Talking again, catching up with what’s happening. 

“People have been through very hard times so it’s been very good to share ideas, share thoughts, but above all, we’re just back focused on picking out the great wines and having a good time doing it,” she added.

Victoria Stanage, head of awards and events at Decanter told City A.M.: “Our commitment to the producers to deliver their results, albeit three months later than promised, made it absolutely necessary that we figure out a way to move forward with the competition this year.”

The highly anticipated awards will be dished out on September 22.