Judging is under way for this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100. But instead of taking place in a room in west London, it’s happening all over the country.
Covid-19 disrupted our plans for judging on April 1 and so we needed a new solution. We could either return all the wines to the companies that sent them in, and write off the 2020 competition altogether. Or: we could invite our judges to do the tasting in their own homes and premises.
So we’ve sent out the wines to 26 first-round judges, all bagged up so that they can be tasted blind, and in flights. The wines that they score highest will make it through to round two, where 10 more judges will re-taste them and we’ll arrive at our Top 100.
All of our winners will appear in a special supplement, as always, which we’ll mail to every specialist independent wine merchant in the land. We’re also creating a website which will showcase all our winners – and tell consumers where they can buy them. They’ll all be independent-trade exclusives.
Thanks so much to all of our judges this year. Tasting these wines takes a lot of time and effort and we know that most of you are already working crazy hours to cope with current demand.
|Dan Kirby||Corkr Fine Wines|
|Sara Bangert||The General Wine Company|
|Finn Dunlop||Macknade Fine Foods|
|Lucy Chenoweth||The Old Garage|
|Deiniol ap Dafydd||Blas ar Cwd Cyf|
|Chris and Gosia Bailey||Mr & Mrs Fine Wine|
|Anthony Borges||The Wine Centre|
|Jamie Smith||Tring Winery|
|Sophie Poultney||Grace & James|
|Jon Campbell||DeFINE Food & Wine|
|Jon Moore||Mumbles Wine|
|Tom Hemmingway||Highbury Vintners|
|Jen Ferguson||Hop Burns & Black|
|Kelli Coxhead||The Wine Shop|
|Lloyd Beedell||Chesters Wine Merchants|
|John Morris||Bradmans Wine Cellar|
|Sarah and Richard Tring||Weber & Tring|
|Julia Jenkins||Flagship Wines|
|Colin Thorne||Vagabond Wines|
|Penny Champion||Champion Wines|
|David Porter||Lea & Sandeman|
|Sam Jackson||Chester Beer & Wine|
|Chris Piper||Christopher Piper Wines|
|Hal Wilson and Alice Archer||Cambridge Wine Merchants|