The excitement continues to build for the second annual International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show (IBWSS) in San Francisco, which is the only show of its type in the United States. Registrations for IBWSS San Francisco 2018 are now open, but places are filling up fast!

The newly announced USA Wine Ratings will take place in San Francisco, California on July 23-24, 2018. The event is already generating buzz within the wine industry because this awards competition will use an entirely new benchmark for judging wines. In contrast to the traditional wine scoring system, which only rewards winemaking ability, the new scoring system of the USA Wine Ratings will use a weighting of three different criteria: Quality, Value and Packaging.

 

 

The USA Wine Ratings follows on the heels of the London Wine Competition, which took place earlier this year. Both events are part of a global awards initiative by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes wine industry events around the world every year. The goal of the USA Wine Ratings is to Ratings industry-wide notions of what makes a great wine, as well as to align the criteria of both commercial buyers and average wine drinkers.

 

At its core, the USA Wine Ratings is an awards competition that takes into account the average wine drinker. While the quality of the wine is obviously of greatest importance, other factors – such as how a wine looks on a shelf, the overall design and presentation of the wine (including the label), and the relative value that a wine provides within a price category – also play a very important role in the whole wine drinking experience.

 

According to Sid Patel, Founder and CEO of Beverage Trade Network, the launch of this new event in the heart of California wine country is of special significance. “It’s one thing to host an awards competition in a region not known for its great wines,” he says, “But it’s another thing entirely to host an awards competition in a city like San Francisco, the capital of one of the world’s most famous wine regions.”

 

“With the USA Wine Ratings, we are really celebrating the global wine industry, and everything it has to offer,” Patel says. “We would like to reward those brands and products that consumers actually want to buy, rather then simply recognizing high-quality wines on the basis of winemaking ability alone.”

 

Hosting the USA Wine Ratings in San Francisco, then, is really about changing the perceptions of an entire industry. “And the way you do that is by going to the wine capitals of the world and providing examples of what great wines look and taste like,” says Patel.

 

Judging criteria for the USA Wine Ratings

For a wine to receive a high overall score, it will need to perform well according to three major criteria:

 

• Quality – Quality will be assessed  on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. Quality will take into account Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.

 

• Value – Value in this context means how well the wine is priced based on its quality. The key metric here is the retail price of the wine.

 

• Packaging – Packaging in this context means how customers will perceive the wine on a wine shelf. Factors includes label, bottle color, bottle shape and closure.

 

It is precisely these three criteria that play the most vital role in determining which wines consumers really want to purchase. As Patel points out, “Our goal in coming up with these criteria was being able to provide a clear guide to wines. Anyone buying an award-winning wine recognized by the USA Wine Ratings will know that that they are getting maximum value for their wine purchase.”

 

The problem faced by many wine buyers today, says Patel, is that it can be difficult and confusing to pick out exactly the right wine for the right occasion. “With so many products on the shelves today,” notes Patel, “It can be very challenging to know what to buy.”

 

Scoring system for the USA Wine Ratings

A specific weighting for each of these three judging criteria will result in a final score. It is on the basis of the final score that a wine will be eligible for a Gold, Silver or Bronze prize. The weighting of the judging criteria is as follows:

 

• Quality: A score between 0 and 50
• Value: A score between 0 and 25
• Packaging: A score between 0 and 25

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Packaging Score (P) = USA Wine Ratings Score

 

As can be seen here, Quality will be responsible for determining 50% of a wine’s final score. However, simply scoring the maximum number of points within this category will not be enough to win an overall Gold, Silver or Bronze award. The scoring system for these awards is as follows:

 

• Gold: A score of 90+
• Silver: A score of 80 to 89
• Bronze: A score of 70 to 79

 

 

For a wine to receive a high overall score, it will need to perform well according to three major criteria:

 

• Quality – Quality will be assessed  on how agreeable the wine is for its target customer and chemical analysis. Quality will take into account Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste and Aftertaste.

 

• Value – Value in this context means how well the wine is priced based on its quality. The key metric here is the retail price of the wine.

 

• Packaging – Packaging in this context means how customers will perceive the wine on a wine shelf. Factors includes label, bottle color, bottle shape and closure.

 

It is precisely these three criteria that play the most vital role in determining which wines consumers really want to purchase. As Patel points out, “Our goal in coming up with these criteria was being able to provide a clear guide to wines. Anyone buying an award-winning wine recognized by the USA Wine Ratings will know that that they are getting maximum value for their wine purchase.”

 

The problem faced by many wine buyers today, says Patel, is that it can be difficult and confusing to pick out exactly the right wine for the right occasion. “With so many products on the shelves today,” notes Patel, “It can be very challenging to know what to buy.”

 

Scoring system for the USA Wine Ratings

A specific weighting for each of these three judging criteria will result in a final score. It is on the basis of the final score that a wine will be eligible for a Gold, Silver or Bronze prize. The weighting of the judging criteria is as follows:

 

• Quality: A score between 0 and 50
• Value: A score between 0 and 25
• Packaging: A score between 0 and 25

 

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Packaging Score (P) = USA Wine Ratings Score

 

As can be seen here, Quality will be responsible for determining 50% of a wine’s final score. However, simply scoring the maximum number of points within this category will not be enough to win an overall Gold, Silver or Bronze award. The scoring system for these awards is as follows:

 

• Gold: A score of 90+
• Silver: A score of 80 to 89
• Bronze: A score of 70 to 79

 

According to Patel, this scoring system was a big hit with London wine drinkers earlier this year at the London Wine Competition, and generated a tremendous amount of discussion about the overall drinkability of a wine.

 

The panel of judges will include top-level wine buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. The list of judges will be drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines.

 

“Together, we can help to create a selection of the highest quality and most commercially viable wines available in the world,” says Patel.

It is expected, too, that the commercial wine trade will begin to put an overall emphasis on wines that have been judged highly at the USA Wine Ratings. The reason, quite simply, is that they need to stock the wines on their shelves that wine drinkers are buying and requesting.

 

Key Dates

Super Early Bird Registration: Ends May 10, 2018
Warehouse closes for samples: July 5, 2018
Judging: July 23-24, 2018
Winners announced: September 5, 2018

 

Fee Schedule

$120 ends May 10, 2018
$150 from May 11 to June 15, 2018
$170 from June 16 to June 30, 2018

 

Learn more on how to enter your wines at www.usawineratings.com

 

For additional questions on the USA Wine Ratings, including details on how to become part of the competition, please contact Sid Patel at

sid@usawineratings.com

On February 26, the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show (IBWSS) officially opened at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

The event kicked off with a brief keynote address and welcome by award-winning business editor Richard Siddle, who outlined the dramatic growth in the bulk wine industry in the UK and gave a brief outline of what participants could expect to learn in both the morning and afternoon sessions.
The busy Tasting Floor saw many genuine buyers mingling with the producers. Business cards were exchanged, samples were poured and hands were shaken.

Renowned industry professionals will offer insights and inspiration to attendees in Charlotte, Newport Beach and New Orleans

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE LATEST ISSUE OF SANTE

 

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Stepping onto the floor at a large industry conference can be overwhelming. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people scurry in every direction. In exhibition halls, importers, distributors, and entrepreneurs of every variety vie for attendee’s attention with free gifts, samples, and, because we are in the food industry, lots of tasty treats.

 

Seeing the latest products is, of course, important. Eating twelve different kinds of chocolate, sipping wine from every continent, and attending educational seminars are also important. For me, however, the aspect of conferences I most enjoy is the opportunity to get face-to-face with those who share my passion for food and service. There is no better way to take the temperature of our industry than to have real, live conversations with people who are in the trenches every single day and learn what they need to know to make them successful. In a perfect world, everyone could attend a conference or two a year to reap the benefits of all there is to see. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time, or the money, to attend every conference that might interest us. That’s why we cover them for you.

 

In this issue, Shana Clarke reports on the 2017 TexSom Conference and Competition. She  covers the conference and speaks to current and past winners of the competition with insight into why they underwent the challenging process.


This issue has much more than the conference story! Brian Van Flanderm, America’s Mixologist from the Food Network gives tips on creating perfect warm cocktails for cold winter nights. Leadership guru Rudy Miick breaks down what it takes to turn around a floundering restaurant. In “Making the Table Bigger, Cara Strickland reports on Big Table, a non-profit dedicated to helping people in the hospitality industry. I had the extreme pleasure of covering one of Boston’s hottest new restaurants, Cultivar, and it’s talented chef, Mary Dumont, on her journey from Chef to Chef/Owner.


With each issue, we hope to inform, educate, and entertain. As always, please send me your ideas and feedback.


A votré santé!

 

Deborah Norkin
Editorial Director