Wine Show Recommendations

Wine Show Recommendations

These five recommendations were presented at a workshop at the 12th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference in Melbourne on Tuesday 27th July 2004.

Workshop delegates have been asked to review these recommendations in more detail and any amendments will be updated via this website shortly if required.

Judge Impartiality

RECOMMENDATION I deals with the issue of judge impartiality, which refers to a wine show judge remaining neutral and objective throughout the judging process. It is hoped this recommendation will assist wine shows in the implementation of procedures to eliminate the potential for a judge to be unduly influenced by external pressures. These strategies include randomisation of exhibits, enforcing a code of silence when tasting, disguising the identity of wines and exhibitors and the responsibilities of judges.

Audit protocols

RECOMMENDATION II deals with the issue of wine show audits and promoting a consistent and standardised auditing protocol for all wine shows. It outlines strategies for implementation by wine shows, including minimum levels of entries to be audited, when, what and how to audit, clearer exhibitor and entry identification, penalties for breech of regulations, use of check samples, correct marketing by exhibitors and assistance with training auditors.

Trophy judging

RECOMMENDATION III on Trophy Judging outlines research undertaken by Dr John Field who surveyed some of the judging methods in existence and the paradoxical results which can be obtained. This recommendation highlights the effectiveness and validity of the Borda Count method of judging. It is recommended that this method be adopted to ensure that all scores count and that all wines are rated in order of preference when judging trophies.

Wine show standards

RECOMMENDATION IV is a complete overhaul of the 1986 Standards developed by the ASVO. The Wine Show Standards provide an up-to-date and effective guideline for use by wine shows when compiling entry regulations and planning the conduct of shows. The Standards also address many issues identified as challenges within the current wine show system, including class sizes, numbers of entries, judge fatigue, varying regulations between shows, judge training and entry criteria

The Standards address in detail the following areas:

Class Description Definition of Style
Class Sizes Volumes
Consumer Classes Open Classes
Unwooded Chardonnay Classes Mixed Varietal and Blended Classes
Individual Vineyards Unfinished Wines
International Entries Entry Criteria for Exhibits
Points, Medals & Trophies Responsibilities of Wine Shows
Responsibilities of Exhibitors Responsibilities of Judges
  • COMPLETE RECOMMENDATION IV – Wine show standards [194 PDF file]

Use of medals

RECOMMENDATION V was developed in line with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s Code of Practice on the use of wine show medals in order to improve the integrity of genuine wine show awards and protect their value. This recommendation outlines to wine shows and exhibitors alike the value of discouraging the misleading use of medals, argues against the portability of awards and supports awarding medals only to finished wines.

Looking for a wine show judge?

ASVO Wine show judge register

The ASVO Wine Show Judge Register was an initiative of the ASVO Wine Show Committee and was created in order to capture and record all relevant judging history of those industry colleagues who wish to be promoted as wine show judges.

The register has over 300 industry professionals listed, and also includes people who wish to become wine show judges. This register has been made available to all Australian national and regional wine shows to assist them in selecting judge and associates.

The ASVO has a strong commitment to ensure that this initiative continues, promoting the professional development of wine show judges and associates. This register will be updated regulary and further recruitment of registered judges or aspiring judges continues.

The fully searchable Wineshow Judges database is only accessible to ASVO members. However, given that non members may wish to have access to our current list of Wineshow judges and their judging history we have made a PDF of the register available for one off purchase by members. Please visit the General Store to purchase your copy. Alternatively you may become an ASVO member and gain full access to the database.

Click here to search for a wine show judge

Further information on all judges registered is available by contacting the ASVO at

For more information on the wine show project or the ASVO contact:

The Secretariat
Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology
Postal Address: GPO Box 582 Adelaide SA 5001