RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Sparkling Wine Review open for entries

The Sparkling Wine Review (SWR) is now open for entries from sparkling wine producers who want to take advantage of this unique and comprehensive benchmarking service, taking place in October.

Launched for the first time in 2010, the Sparkling Wine Review brings together some of the world’s leading tasters in a thoroughly innovative assessment exercise.  This technically led review process is aimed at producers wanting to develop or launch new products, review existing product quality or re-assess product positioning or packaging.

To understand better the needs of English-speaking markets, each entry receives its own Benchmark Report to provide insight for the producer on how to align the product to meet those needs.  Subject to producer approval a summary tasting note and score will be published on the SWR website,

At last year’s Review, Dee Blackstock MW, Sue Daniels, Pieter Ferreira and Simon Woods joined co-chairmen Dr Jamie Goode, Sam Harrop MW, Jean-Marc Sauboua and John Worontschak to benchmark sparkling wines from 10 different countries across the world. These included Argentina, Australia, Chile, England, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia and Spain. In addition to organoleptic assessments, each wine was put through a full technical analysis by Corkwise. Finally the co-chairman, in conjunction with packaging and design specialists Chillifish, carried out commercial and packaging appraisals.

John Worontschak comments on last year’s results: “Cross referencing organoleptic assessments with the technical analysis of each wine enabled us to identify some very interesting trends in global sparkling winemaking. For example, high priced sparkling wines from the New World tend to have higher SO2 levels than their northern counterparts – perhaps reflecting a greater fear of oxidation and higher pHs in warmer climates. When looking at total acidity, which measures the acid taste of the wine in the mouth – a vital component of the wine’s overall balance, we identified that all the best quality wines (scoring over 90 points in the organoleptic assessent) had a total acidity in excess of 6 grams per litre.   Those same wines also contained alcohol of between 11.5% and 12.5%, even though alcohol content generally varied quite considerably.

“There are so many technical trends we noted from the process in year one.  With more data from future Sparkling Wine Reviews we’ll have a wonderful database to analyse alongside results to help producers around the world improve quality of the overall category.  Our objective is to help sparkling wine producers make better wine, so consumers can get better value and a better experience when celebrating with bubbles. That way the category, with its many different styles, can grow and increase the already huge potential for sparkling wine sales.”

Mike Florence, manager of the Sparkling Wine Review, comments: “Benchmarking your wine through an independent third party is a powerful way of testing its quality, validity of product changes, and of measuring its performance against its peers.  The Sparkling Wine Review is not about praising or criticising a wine, but providing constructive feedback on positive aspects as well as areas where the wine can be improved.  Our tasters are chosen for their knowledge of sparkling wine specifically; they are some of the foremost experts in sparkling wine in the world.  We aim to provide a balanced viewpoint: the final assessment will be undertaken by a qualified winemaker and wine journalist, working in tandem.”

For more information about the Review and how to enter, go to the website:, or call Mike Florence on +44 (0)20 7164 2113.




1 May 2011 - Felicity Murray