2014 Sunset International Wine Competition Judging Process

The Sunset International Wine Competition is committed to the highest possible integrity, fairness, and expertise in our judging process

Wine tasting party

Thayer Allison Gowdy

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The Sunset International Wine Competition is committed to the highest possible integrity, fairness, and expertise in our judging process. To that end, we have confirmed many of the West’s best palates as our judges, and our backroom organization will be airtight. Here is the process we will follow.

  • Each wine will be tasted by a panel of three judges.
  • The expertise on the panels will be balanced among our three categories of judges: winemakers, journalists, and education/trade.
  • The honorary chairs for the three categories of judges will act as facilitators, mediators, and arbitrators should any confusion or conflict arise.
  • The wines will be tasted blind, in flights with their peers. The judges will know only varieties, vintages, and regions.
  • Domestic, South American, and Australian/New Zealand wines will be tasted by varietal, Old World wines by region.
  • The judges will not know the prices of the wines.
  • The judges are encouraged to discuss each wine, but the panel does not have to come to a consensus on what medal, if any, to award a wine.
  • The judges will give each wine an individual score, and the three scores will be averaged for the wine’s final score.
  • Based on those scores, medals will be awarded to the field of entries under the following percentages: 10% Gold Medals, 20% Silver Medals, and 20% Bronze Medals.
  • Major categories will each have a Best of Class winner.


 Enter the Sunset International Wine Competition now through April 4, 2014.   

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