The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Sydney International Wine Competition returns, including NZ wines and judges

The Sydney International Wine Competition will return this year, after a hiatus in 2020, with entries being accepted from 12 July, and judging to take place in late October.

Due to border restrictions, the 2021 competition will include a panel of 13 highly credentialed judges from Australia and New Zealand – including four Masters of Wine – and will be once again chaired by winemaker Warren Gibson. 

Wines will be invited from around the world, with entries capped at 2000, and the final 400 wines will be set aside for re-judging with appropriate food, leading to approximately 250 wines being awarded Top 100, Blue Gold and Gold medals, along with 25 trophies. 

In past years, up to 12 countries have been represented, featuring most of the major wine producers, as well as smaller producers such as Georgia and Turkey.  

With no minimum production requirements, this show is particularly applicable to experimental and small winemakers to test their wines alongside wines from major producers.   

Co-convenor of the Sydney International Wine Competition, Brett Ling, says given the difficulties faced by the wine industry over the past year, it was important for competitions such as the Sydney International to proceed to highlight to consumers the exceptional range of food-friendly wines available to be enjoyed at restaurants and at home. 

“This is a very important year for the Australian and New Zealand wine industries as they come out of COVVID-19 and have to face additional issues with international distribution,” says Ling. 

“While there will be greater emphasis on wines from Australia and New Zealand this year because of logistical issues, our region has never been more open to competing against other international producers, so we expect very keen interest in the competition from across the world. 

“Our judging panel this year will be made up of judges from Australia and New Zealand, which are traditionally powerhouses in the competition, so we can only hope that the trans-Tasman travel ‘bubble’ is floating by the time judging takes place in late October. However, we have built in contingency plans just in case.” 

The Sydney International Wine Competition is the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with suitable food dishes. 

Medal and trophy winners are featured on the website alongside judges’ comments and the dishes they were matched with. 

Full details can be found at, including the judging criteria. 

Provisional award and trophy winners will be announced on 8 November 2021. 

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