Calling all wine lovers – People’s Choice Wine Awards is searching for judges

Didsbury-based Janet Harrison has launched The People’s Choice Wine Awards – the only awards dedicated to and judged by wine consumers in the UK.

The People’s Choice Wine Awards (PCWA) is now in its second year and the team is looking for wine fans and enthusiasts to sign up to be judges.  No experience needed, just a love of wine!

There were big wins last year from Asda and Waitrose as well as producers such as Laurent Perrier, English wine makers Bolney Wine Estates and Codorniu, famous for its great Cavas.

Janet, who runs wine events business Cracking Wine in Manchester, thinks it is about time wine drinkers themselves had a say in which producers and suppliers get rewarded for great wine – they are the ones who buy it after all.

“Last year’s wine judges were a great mix of ordinary people who love wine as well as wine industry students. These days more and more of us are enjoying a fantastic selection of wine from independent merchants, supermarkets and online suppliers. It is wrong to assume that if you aren’t qualified, you can’t assess quality.”

The award categories are unique as they reflect the reasoning behind the purchase, whether on the commute back from work or on a more leisurely wine shopping trip.

Categories include:

·      Food Friendly Wine

·      Girls Night In

·      Party wines

·      Wine to go with pizza

·      Best wines for BBQs

·      Budget Buys

·      Blow Out Wines (for celebrations, and purchases to impress the in-laws)

There is also a national online vote for Best Independent Wine Merchant and Best Supermarket Wine Merchant. Other categories champion organic and sustainable production and packaging.

A huge proportion of consumers consult peer reviews using social media before buying products of any kind. A phenomenon which has led to the creation of wine apps such as Vivino where people can take pictures of and review wine in their own home.

Having wine lovers vote for their favourites puts the consumer at the heart of the process – a golden opportunity for suppliers and producers to hear what people really think about their wine and share their views with others.

How it all works

The search is on for their Round One judging panel.  If chosen, they will be helped on the day (mid- September) with basic tips on how to taste wine and will be ‘blind tasting’ specific categories. They will judge based on:

·      Whether they like the wine

·      How well it suits the category

·      Perceived quality

The shortlist will go through to a Round Two judging panel, involving industry folk, who are seen as ‘consumer champions’, to determine the winners.

In addition, five people will be awarded ‘Super-taster’ status – for those who are the most promising amateur tasters.  They will be invited to the awards ceremony which takes place on Monday 25thFebruary 2019 in Manchester. The ceremony will be live streamed over social media too.

For more information on how to be considered as a judge, see the website application here –

The deadline for judge applications is midnight on 31st July 2018.

Form an orderly queue!