Four International Wine Challenge Golds and more!
The International Wine Challenge is one of the best regarded in the wine trade, and we are delighted to see a healthy crop of our wines come through the rigorous judging process in 2021. Four wines received the coveted Gold medal, while a number of others scooped Silvers.
Recognition like this is something we are very proud of, and we are very grateful to the IWC. Above all, however, we would like to thank our members without whose support we wouldn't be able to continue scouring the globe for the best quality and value we can find. For a taste of 2021's winners, take a look at the links below.
Try our award-winning wines
Gold: The Society's Valpolicella Ripasso 2018
Recognition for one of our Society-label wines is always a joy to receive. This is a full-bodied cherry-scented Italian ripasso – where the wine has been 'passed over' the dried grapes that were used in the production of Amarone. This process adds a richness and depth to the vibrant redcurrant and black-cherry fruited wine, and it's delicious!
Gold: Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2018
One of England's finest rosé sparklers, this is an elegant and eminently drinkable pinot noir rosé from masters of the style Camel Valley. A distinctive traditional method sparkling wine showing generous wild strawberry and raspberries on the palate thanks to the warm 2018 vintage, whilst also providing freshness and structure.
Gold: Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Reprising its outstanding performance in our own in-house blind tasting, Wine Champions, this charming blanc de blancs, a speciality of Henriot, draws on the fruit of some of Champagne's top vines, and you can taste the distinction. Intense, precise, soft and complex.
Gold: Tolpuddle Tasmanian Chardonnay 2019
A world-class chardonnay from Tasmania's Coal River Valley, showing notes of nuts, clove and cinnamon on the nose, backed up by fresh, zesty citrus fruit. The palate is taut and focused, with beautiful acidity which promises a bright future. The oak is used masterfully creating a complex, impressive wine.
The People's Choice!
We are thrilled to announce that The Wine Society won a number of awards at the 2021 People's Choice Drinks Awards.
Online Retailer of the Year for 2021
We always say that it's our members' satisfaction that matters more than any award, so to receive one that was voted for by online wine buyers is particularly special. This is the second year in a row that we have won this award. This year, voters were also asked why they thought we should win, and we were delighted to read the comments, which included:
• The ethos is right for our times - a business run for its members not for profit, and which has played a huge role in keeping Britain happy during successive lockdowns. Cheers!
• Cheerful prompt service even when the path is long and the load is heavy.
• The best retailer of any kind of goods that I have ever dealt with in the UK, from start to finish, every time.
Three of the wines we stock – including two of our Society were also given individual gongs:
Thank you to everyone at the People's Choice Drinks Awards and, above all, to our members.
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.
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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.
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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.