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The Judging Process

    • “Double-blind” judging process (bottles are never seen!), ensuring absolute integrity of results
    • 4-day judging process, held annually in Hong Kong
    • Strict procedures, following the London-based IWSC established guidelines, to ensure quality and consistency of result


Judging integrity is at the heart of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition. Judging takes place over the course of 4 days in late August with the same strict procedures followed for wine, sake, spirits, beer and food and wine pairing categories.  

Samples are arranged and tasted by category and presented to judges in flights of tasting glasses - the bottles are never seen by judges. The judges are provided with a score sheet and the basic parameters of the class under assessment. Samples are tasted and scored in quiet individually by judges, with scores collected and recorded by the panel chair who may open scores for final discussions within the panel.

Judges are prohibited from entering the preparation area before or during judging sessions. All results remain confidential until officially released.

Wines are judged under the style categories of wine style, grape variety, region/appellation/vintage/age. Spirits are judged by type, age and strength (whiskies are also judged by region, style and cask finish/strength).

Provided the required minimum score is reached, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in each tasting category or flight. Products with the highest score in their respective category are re-tasted to determine the winners of national and international trophies. Scores are given out of a total possible score of 100 and are calculated and audited within the framework of a strict marking system.



The Top Scorers are re-tasted to determine 'Best in class' Quality of the highest order/



Score of 90+

An excellent wine / spirit with great personality. An example that stands out among its peers.



Score of 80+

An accomplished wine/spirit with considerable personality, character and complexity. A classic example of its style or variety.



Score of 75+

A perfectly well-made wine/spirit which provides an enjoyable drinking experience.



All Trophy and Gold winner certified sustainable / biodynamic / organic by official certification governing body.



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