Applications open on 23 May 2018
Round 1 Judges
We welcome all levels of WSET students and everyday wine enthusiasts to apply as part of the competition process. We aim to find a panel who represent the diversity of the UK wine buying public. Should you be chosen, you will be part of the 1st round judging process and select the shortlist of wines. All wines are tasted and rated according to their suitability for the category and perceived quality level.
Apply to become a judge here:
Round 2 Judges
Our Round 2 panel are consumer champions in the wine trade, wine journalists and friendly experts. The five best ‘supertasters’ (best amateur judges from round 1) will join these great people to choose the winning wines from the shortlist.
ROUND 2 JUDGES INCLUDE:
Owner, Reserve Wines
Born in Sheffield and raised in Manchester, Kate Goodman set up Reserve Wines in 2003, an award winning wine shop in West Didsbury, Manchester.
Reserve Wines sells a great selection of wines, beers & spirits focussing on smaller independent producers and prides itself on offering great value for money. The focus has always been on retail but as the business has evolved it now has a thriving Corporate and Wholesale arm and sells UK wide at www.reservewines.co.uk.
In 2012 she was selected to appear alongside Michel Roux Jnr as the co-presenter on the re-launch of the well loved BBC Food and Drink show where she worked alongside top chefs such as Mary Berry & Tom Kerridge.
Reserve Wines has now expanded to incorporate a further 3 sites: the award winning Market House in Altrincham, Mackie Mayor in Manchester and a wine concession in Bents Garden Centre.
Wine Educator & TV Presenter
Amelia Singer is a TV presenter on The Wine Show, wine writer for Waitrose Food Magazine, UK Ambassador for the California Wine Institute and founder of Amelia’s Wine, an events business which offers a range of authentic, fun, helpful and ultimately accessible wine tastings.
Her diverse range of skills and services means that Amelia was recently shortlisted for the IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year Award. This is the most prestigious, international award that one can be given for Wine Education and Communication.
Amelia is a new, young female voice in wine and she has made it her aim to demystify the snobbery around wine and empower people when it comes to making wine decisions – either in a supermarket aisle or when the wine list is handed to you on a first date.
Partner, JK Marketing
Judy Kendrick is one of the partners in JK Marketing, the current Wine Marketing Company of the Year 2017 (awarded by Drinks International). With 30 years experience in the wine business, Judy has many awards under her belt, both from her time as a New World wine importer in the late '80’s to more recent accolades with her marketing and events company. JK Marketing are the creative organisers behind the launch of SITT, The Wine Gang, The Three Wine Men, esoterica and Wines Unearthed at the London Wine Fair. PR and promotion agency for Wines of Portugal (+10 years) and more recently with Wines of Brasil for the last 4 years, has proven them as a company that delivers results for their generic clients.
Wine Marketing Company of the Year: Drinks International 2017
PR Company of the Year: Drinks Business 2015
'Campaign of the Year’ Winner: IWC 2015
Although he writes weekly wine columns for a large circulation Scottish newspaper, Brian Elliott is no wine trade insider. For years, the juice of the grape had to take its place behind the demands (and budget constraints) of the day job and bringing up a family. The result was a fund of experience with entry point wines and a life-long empathy with what the so-called “man in the street” drinks and enjoys. He has brought that focus to all his wine writing, competition judging, Masterclass presentations and, especially, to his hugely popular MidWeek Wines website. Naturally, it has also made him a great supporter of our People’s Choice Wine Awards - right from the inception of the idea.
Owner, Manchester Wine School
Manchester Wine School is owned by Lisa Moreton, a 30-something with a young family and a love of wine. She started out on the Majestic Wine Graduate Programme in 2002, it was great experience and she completed her WSET Level 3 wine qualification here, but in 2004 she opted for a change in career and became a Higher Education lecturer teaching management, and later teacher training. When the opportunity to take over the wine school in 2014 arose it seemed only natural to combine her passion of wine with her teaching experience and so began a new adventure. She loves to share her knowledge, and if you come along to one of the Manchester Wine School sessions you will be sure to hear about this wonderful tipple in a fresh and uncomplicated way.
Freelance Journalist and Copywriter
Peter Ranscombe became the wine columnist and drinks blogger for Scottish Field magazine in 2014 and completed his Wine & Spirit Education Trust diploma in 2015. He has also written about drinks for the Wine Tube Map email newsletter and the World Travel Guide website. When he’s not writing about drinks, Peter is a freelance journalist and copywriter. He is the associate editor for the BQ Live website and writes for publications including The Lancet’s specialist medical journals and newspapers such as The Times, Sunday Times and Press & Journal. His debut novel, an historical thriller called Hare, was published in 2014.
Sorcha Holloway is a wine communicator best known as founder and host of the UK’s biggest wine chat, #ukwinehour, which takes place on Twitter every Thursday at 19.00. Founded in July 2015, #ukwinehour discusses all topics related to wine, and brings people together united in their love of the fermented grape, from the enthusiastic amateur to Masters of Wine.
Originally a gynaecologist, Sorcha has totally embraced her new life in the wine industry, which she came to originally via wine tourism. Now half-way through the WSET Diploma, she writes for various publications and organisations, consults on wine and wine tourism, and advises on the best use of Social Media for marketing and promotion. You can find Sorcha on Twitter at @SorchaHolloway
Wine Blogger, Journalist and Business Owner
Mike has been wine blogging for 4 years now under the name Please Bring Me My Wine, starting as a way to help him through his WSET journey. He’s now a contributing journalist for The Buyer, social media consultant, and judges in wine competitions throughout Europe. He also runs a small private sales and wine tour business called 20h33, and is a managing partner in La Ferme restaurant in Primrose Hill, North London.
A born and bred Sandgrounder, he's looking forward to getting back north of Chester to taste some top wines.
Wine Blogger and Journalist
Originally from the world of Finance and Banking, Sumi found her interests migrating towards wine. She studied wine in Hong Kong, where she also worked for a while as a Sommelier.
Moving back to England, she achieved her WSET Diploma and became a wine writer, starting her own blog ‘Sumilier’. As a wine journalist, she has presented and co-produced an audio documentary wine series named ‘The Sumilier Wine Show’.
Sumi is an International Wine Judge with some of the leading competitions of the world.
She champions esoteric wines such as vegan, organic, biodynamic and natural wines, celebrates women in wine and lectures at local wine schools. She has a passion and focus on Asian food and wine pairings, imparting her culinary and cultural heritage and blending them with her wine expertise.
In addition, Sumi is also a regular contributor to wine, travel and lifestyle Blogs such as Glass of Bubbly and Winerist.
Cartoonist and wine lover
Tony Husband has been a full time cartoonist since 1984 His cartoons have appeared in many newspapers, magazines, books and websites and in several TV and theatrical productions. They include Private Eye, The Times, Punch, Playboy, The Sunday Express, The Spectator, The Sun and Decanter Magazine. He has won more than 15 major awards, including The Pont Award for depicting the British way of life. Yobs, which he draws for Private Eye, is one of the best-known comic-strips in the UK.
Tony loves wine almost as much as Manchester United, but it is a very close call.