International Wine Challenge Success
We have some lovely news to share: No fewer than seven Society-stocked wines were awarded Trophies and Gold medals at the 2020 International Wine Challenge, with a further 24 awarded a Silver medal. The so-called ‘Oscars of the Wine Trade’, the IWC relies on a huge and fastidious judging process to find the very cream of the crop. To see a wine like our Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay receive a Gold medal is therefore something we’re very proud of.
Receiving such awards wouldn't be possible without the loyal support of our members, which enables us to continue finding the most delicious wines we can. Thank you very much, and we hope that you'll continue to discover more lovely wines with us for many more years to come!
Try our award-winning wines
Trophy: Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Having triumphed in our 2020 ‘Wine Champions’ blind tastings, this charming blanc de blancs, a speciality of Henriot, scooped the prestigious IWC Trophy. Intense and precise but soft and round, this draws on the fruit of some of Champagne’s top vines, and you can taste the distinction.
Gold: The Society's Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay 2019
We were delighted to see this single-vineyard wine, made exclusively for us by chardonnay specialists Kumeu River, receive a coveted gold medal. 2019 was a superb year for this wine, which offers a touch of struck match and vanilla on the nose and green apple and citrus peel on the palate.
Gold: Hidalgo Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada
The best example of this style of sherry we have tasted, and a great bargain. It comes from the fine Pastrana vineyard in the Miraflores region, which has long produced the finest wines in the Hidalgo cellars. A fine, nutty manzanilla with the strength of character to stand up to all manner of dishes.
Gold: Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneto Rancia, Felsina Berardenga 2017
A perfectly balanced wine from one of Chianti Classico’s finest vineyards. Its flinty, mineral, red-berry perfume opens up beautifully with air. The palate is well structured and bright, with spice and leather notes on the long finish.
Gold: Champagne Henriot Brut Millésime 2008
This is a house that always delivers (as evidenced by their Trophy-winning wine above as well!), and their 2008 will delight fans of the lighter styles of Champagne. This great vintage wine is a joy already, offering minerality, precision and poise, but there is no rush!
Gold: Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard Brut 2013
Arguably England’s finest sparkling wine, this is a blend of 76% pinot noir and 24% chardonnay from Nyetimber’s finest single vineyard, Tillington. Ripe peach, mandarin, cherry and lemon-pith flavours are matched with plenty of structure. A delight now, but this will age beautifully.
Gold: Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésime 2012
Champagne Charlie at it best, in a fabulous vintage! The 2012 offers fresh greengage and apricot on the nose with underlying biscuit, toasted hazelnut and light brioche notes. Bright acidity and a chalky texture balance the concentrated flavours on the palate with a little spice on the rounded finish.
A record number of Decanter Awards
The 2020 Decanter Awards resulted in a record haul for The Wine Society. As well as being named Large Online Retailer of the Year, we received three regional specialist awards for our Spain & Portugal, Regional French and Austrian ranges. These awards are the result of a judging process which, in their words, 'is based on what Decanter readers think is most important to them when purchasing wines: Quality, Value, Range and Service.'
Director of Wine and buyer for Spain, Pierre Mansour: 'Our brilliant range of Portuguese wines have been recognised before, winning several awards over the years. This is a first for The Wine Society with Spain and I am absolutely delighted. This award should be dedicated to the craftmanship and talent of the growers and winemakers of the Iberian Peninsula, and our members who keep buying more and more of these wines each year.'
Look behind the labels: Why Pierre is Gunning for Garnacha
Pierre wrote recently about what he believes is Spain's most exciting grape variety, including several styles to try.
Find out more
Look behind the labels: Milestones and an Historic Love Affair
The Wine Society itself was founded on casks of Portuguese wine back in 1874. Here, Portugal buyer Joanna Locke MW talks us through the country's fascinating wine history.
Read the article
Buyer Marcel Orford-Williams, who looks after our southern French range, raises a glass to our members after learning of the award!
Look behind the labels: Pilgrims, Pioneers and Heroes
In this article, Marcel explores the history and introduces the fascinating winemakers of this ancient winelands of south-west France.
Read the article
Look behind the labels: The Not So Famous 1879 Classification
Beaujolais buyer Tim Sykes uncovered a fascinating piece of history on this much-loved region earlier this year.
Find out more
Look behind the labels: The Ultimate Guide to Alsace Wines
Alsace's magical wines have a strong among members, but still deserve to be better known. This guide covers the key grapes, vineyards and wine styles.
Read the guide
Buyer Freddy Bulmer: 'I have been the Austria buyer at The Wine Society for the last three years and it's a country that I completely fell in love with. The wines are amazing and the people I have the pleasure of working with in Austria are wonderful. I am so happy to be able to see Austrian wine get the recognition it deserves and really proud of all the wonderful suppliers whose wines we work with and who make our range as fantastic as it is. Prost!'
Look behind the labels: Artists of Austria
Join Freddy on his last buying trip to Austria in this series of videos, meeting the new mavericks and old masters who make this country such an incredible place for wine.
The People's Choice
We were delighted to start the year with several prizes from The People's Choice Awards held in February 2020.
The newest wine awards on the block, wines are judged in 24 categories based around 'occasionality' rather than style. The ethos of these awards is to give consumers the chance to vote for the wines they love with 'enthusiastic amateurs' forming the panel for the first round of judging. Trade experts and supertasters picked from the first round whittle down the wines at the second round. So, we were thrilled to be named the people's choice for:
- Online Retailer of the Year for 2020
And have three award-winning wines in the following categories:
Thank you to all members for continuing to support your Society and making us your own 'people's choice!'
2019 was a generous vintage for awards at The Wine Society! Thanks to our members' support ,we were named Best Online Retailer by Decanter and Wine Club of the Year by the International Wine Challenge, along with a number of specialist regional awards:
Decanter Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year and Online Wine Retailer of the Year 2018
We're honoured to have been named 'Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year' for the seventh time in eight years, along with 'Online Retailer of the Year'. We were also awarded the top prize for our selection from Regional France, and a silver medal for our Spanish range. The judges concluded: 'A fair few names were in contention for this 'best of the best' award, but ultimately it was the 'sense of joy' that won it for The Wine Society. Top buyers, great wines, good value, impeccable service, constant improvement and a real sense of community. It doesn't get much better.'
IWC Wine Club of the Year 2018
We are thrilled that for the second year in the row we have won three awards at the International Wine Challenge ceremony. As well as Wine Club of the Year 2018, we also scooped two Specialist Merchant awards for our Regional France and Portugal ranges.
- Decanter Outstanding Retailer Of The Year
'Outstanding value, impeccable range, excellent service, engaging events: The Wine Society is a well-oiled wine machine purring along in the fast lane,' was the verdict of Decanter's expert panel, who named us Retailer of the Year (for the sixth time in seven years), Online Retailer of the Year and France Regional Specialist of the Year.
- IWC Wine Club Of The Year 2017
We were delighted to win this award, as well as two Specialist Merchant awards at the annual International Wine Challenge ceremony, to complement the medals given to some of our wines earlier in the year.
- Wine Society success at the Decanter and International Wine Challenge
The country's two top awards panels have awarded medals and trophies to several of our wines, ranging from a double-Trophy winning under-£10 Vinho Verde to top Vintage Champagne.
View the winners.
- IWC Wine Merchant Of The Year 2016
The judges said that The Society "has a wonderful list of wines, lovingly curated by one of the best teams of wine buyers in the UK. Staff are immensely effective sellers of the excellently chosen wines." We also won Online Retailer of the Year as well as two Specialist Merchant awards.
- Success for Exhibition wines at the Decanter and International Wine Challenge
The country's two top awards panels have awarded medals and trophies to several of The Society's wines, including three winners from our flagship Exhibition range. View the winners.
- Decanter National Retailer Of The Year For The Fifth Successive Year
The panel of expert judges, chaired by Peter Richards MW, unanimously agreed that The Society should once again be awarded this title 'for its exemplary quality, value and service'. Read more.
- Decanter and IWC award-winning wines
A number of Society wines were awarded trophies and medals by the country's two top awards panels in 2015.
- Alsace and Spain ranges recognised by the IWC
For the eighth consecutive year, The Society's Alsace range was recognised as the country's finest by the International Wine Challenge. The Society was also highly commended for its range of Spanish wines.
- Decanter National Retailer Of The Year For The Fourth Successive Year
We were delighted that Decanter's panel of expert judges, chaired by Peter Richards MW, unanimously agreed that The Society should once again be awarded this title based on the strength of our range of wines, our passion for wine and the quality of our service. Read more.
- IWC Wine Club Of The Year 2014
The Society has been awarded Wine Club of the Year and Specialist Merchant of the Year for Alsace and Chile by the 2014 International Wine Challenge. Read more.
- Award-Winning Portuguese Range
The Association of Portuguese Wine Importers (APWI) seeks to recognise those businesses and individuals who have gone to the greatest lengths to bring wines from Portugal to the forefront of the consumers' mind. In this the tenth anniversary of the awards, The Wine Society received the Online / Mail Order Retailer of the Year award. Read more.
- Decanter National Retailer Of The Year For The Third Successive Year
As a mutual organisation, it is recognition from our membership that matters most. However, it is also pleasing to receive accolades from the wine trade, and we were delighted to be voted National Retailer of the Year at the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards. This is the third consecutive year in which The Society has received this award. Read more.
- IWC Wine Merchant Of The Year 2013
We are thrilled to announce a record number of awards for The Wine Society from the IWC (International Wine Challenge), including its highest accolade, Wine Merchant of the Year. Read more.
- 2012 Decanter and International Wine Challenge Awards Success
We are delighted to announce that The Society has won the following awards at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards and IWC (International Wine Challenge) Awards:
- Portugal: More Success For The Society's Range
The Wine Society has received the award for Online / Mail Order Retailer of the Year from The APWI (Association of Portuguese Wine Importers). This is the second time in a row The Society has won this award, following on from being awarded the gong for overall APWI Merchant of the Year in 2011. Read more.