Wine & Spirits

By Stef Schwalb


“There is no substitute for hard work,” according to Thomas Edison. However, we think greater enlightenment might enhance this belief by adding… “but if you can find someone else to do it for you, why not?” Case in point: The Ultimate Wine Challenge. We think it’s safe to assume that most of us don’t have the palate or the patience to try over 700 wines from around the globe and whittle them down to the best in class. Not having to do all of the research or the extensive tasting ourselves saves a lot of time and taste buds.

What makes these results so special? Because all of the determinations came from noses that know –a panel of 14 judges renowned throughout the wine world (including six Masters of Wine). They swirled, sniffed and sampled all of these selections according to price, grape type, and region. There were reds, whites, rosés, champagne/sparkling, dessert wines/ciders, fortified wines, and sake. The results? Twenty-seven brands achieved the highest honor in their category (the Chairman’s Trophy) and 216 wines were rated “great value” based on their score and price, reinforcing a belief dear to our hearts that beguiling wines don’t always have to break the bank. Wine judging was based on a 100-point scale, none of the brand identities were disclosed to the judges during the event, and those rated 85 points or higher include tasting notes.

The Ultimate Wine Challenge was held at the end of April with results released in May. The competition is an annual event produced by the Ultimate Beverage Challenge®, who also stage The Ultimate Spirits Challenge and The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge. For the results including all finalists and those wines that scored 80 and above, check out the

Originally published June 2012



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