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Winners Announced in Inaugural London Wine Competition

Arcadian Shiraz from Idyll Wine Co. in Australia wins “Wine of the Year”

At the first-ever London Wine Competition, which took place in London on March 8-9, 16 wines from all over the world – including five from Australia and four from Italy – were awarded the prestigious Gold medal. The top scoring wine, Arcadian Shiraz from Idyll Wine Co. in Australia, was named the “Wine of the Year.” In addition to the 16 Gold medal winners, another 113 wines were awarded Silver medals.

Arcadian Shiraz officially now takes the title of 2018 world’s best wine by quality, value and package.

Wines were judged on the basis of three primary criteria – taste, value and packaging – and then scored on a 100-point scale. Wines that scored 90+ points were awarded Gold medals, while wines that scored 76 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals. The primary reason for using three criteria rather than just one was to focus on the overall drinkability of each wine. As a result, the judging panel ranked wines not just by how they taste, but also their overall presentation and appearance in the bottle. In addition, judges assessed wines on their relative value in relation to their peers.

While a number of Old World wines from Italy and France scored highly in the competition, there were a number of notable surprises – including the appearance of two UK wines – Blanc de Blanc from Hoffman & Rathbone (at No. 5) and Classic Raimes English Sparkling (at No. 10) – in the Top 10. Both wines won Gold Medals at the event, a possible sign that UK wines could be ready for a stronger presence on the world stage. 

The breakout star of the event was Arcadian Shiraz from Idyll Wine Co. in Australia. Idyll Wine Co. is located in Australia’s picturesque Moorabool Valley, approximately 15 minutes west of Geelong, Victoria. The Idyll Vineyard was established in 1966 and was one of the first vineyards to be planted in the Victoria area following the decimation of the local wine industry by the phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century.

The London Wine Competition was launched in late 2017 by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes wine industry events all over the world. The goal of this event was to judge wines the way consumers judge them. In contrast to other wine competitions, where winemaking ability and technical expertise sometimes receive primary consideration at the expense of drinkability, the goal of the London Wine Competition was to award and celebrate the wines that wine drinkers actually want to buy, whether at a retail wine store or ordering off the menu at a London restaurant.

Chief executive of Beverage Trade Network Sid Patel said, “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.”

“The best-tasting wines in the world won’t attract the attention of consumers unless the packaging design and price point appeal to wine drinkers,” says Patel. “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,” Patel notes.

At the judging session, judges tasted and scored wines on a blind basis before seeing bottles and marking them for on-shelf appeal as well as value for money. This enabled them to come up with an overall score that reflects their overall drinkability.

Patel said, “Launching a new competition is exciting but also daunting, especially when it fundamentally changes the way wines are judged. We’re delighted with the first-ever London Wine Competition, which attracted entries from award-winning wineries from the UK, Europe and New World destinations such as Australia and New Zealand.”

Based on the initial success of this year’s London Wine Competition, Beverage Trade Network plans to run the competition again in 2019 and will be opening up entries towards the end of 2018.

For more information on the London Wine Competition, please see:

For more information on Beverage Trade Network, please see:


Wine of the Year

Arcadian Shiraz, Idyll Wine Co (Australia)

London Wine Competition Gold Medal Winners:

Arcadian Shiraz, Idyll Wine Co (Australia)

Cuvee Pazo Pondal, Pazo Pondal (Spain)

Jarno Rosso, Castorani (Italy)

Old Vine Shiraz, Cape Barren Wines (Australia)

Blanc de Blanc, Hoffmann & Rathbone (Great Britain)

RedHeads Whip-Hand, Direct Wines Production (Australia)

Luna Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Luna Vineyards (USA)

Cabernet Sauvignon IGP Château Vartely, Château Vartely (Moldova)

Offida DOCG Rosso, Velenosi Vini (Italy)

Classic Raimes English Sparkling (Great Britain)

Blue Pyrenees Section One Shiraz, Blue Pyrenees Estate (Australia)

Nero d'Avola IGT Terre Siciliane, When in Rome Wine Ltd (Italy)

Rosé Champagne Trésor de France (France)

Shaw Vineyard Estate 2015 Shiraz, Shaw Vineyard Estate (Australia)

Winemakers Collection Nelson 'Sweet Agnes’ Riesling, Seifried Estate (New Zealand)

Podere Castorani Reserva, Castorani (Italy)


London Wine Competition Silver Medal Winners:

Pazo Pondal, Pazo Pondal (Spain)

Chardonnay, Imagery Estate Winery (USA)

Pietro Marini Torrontes, Bodega El Transito (Tres-N SRL) (Argentina)


I.G.T IL RITROVO, La Casa di Bricciano (Italy)


Eclipse Chardonnay, Luna Estate (New Zealand)


Terroir Series- Chardonnay, Alexana Winery (USA)

Gilbert by Simon Gilbert Late Harvest Riesling, The Gilbert Family Wine Company Pty Ltd (Australia)

For a full list of the Silver Medal winners, Click Here

Entries are Now Open for the 2019 London Wine Competition. Enter Your Wines Before October 30 to Get Early Bird Rates.

London Wine Competition Early Bird Pricing Oct 30 2018