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TEXSOM International Wine Awards Announces 2018 Winners


Most Selective Competition in the United States Sets the Gold Standard

Dallas, Texas (March 13, 2018) –– TEXSOM Co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell today announced the results for the 2018 TEXSOM International Wine Awards. The Awards garnered over 3,200 entries representing 30 countries and 21 U.S. States, with the most diverse selection of wines in the history of the competition.

Entries in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards were blind-tasted and judged by 63 internationally renowned tastemakers from six countries, including 20 Master Sommeliers, 18 Masters of Wine, and other category experts. Of these entries, the judges awarded 2,223 medals: 285 Gold medals (9% of total entries), 760 Silver medals (24%), and 1,178 Bronze medals (37%). Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from US $2.99 to over US $700.00. Vintages spanned eight decades, with the oldest being 1957. This year saw greater diversity in entries, ranging from little known varieties to a burgeoning list of “orange” wines to wines in alternative packaging (bag-in-box, tetrapak, cans, etc.).

In a recent paper (November 2017) titled Wine Competitions: Reevaluating the Gold Standard, published by the Journal of Wine Economics, a high-quality, peer-reviewed research journal published by the American Association of Wine Economists, the TEXSOM International Wine Awards was called out for being the most selective among the competitions studied. The final finding of the paper is that all golds are not created equal—some competitions appear to be able to differentiate more effectively amongst quality levels than others. The implication is that the TEXSOM International Wine Awards was at the top of the pyramid. They pointed out that the evaluation methods articulated for the TEXSOM International Wine Awards are far more detailed and rigorous than is typical of other competitions.

“We intentionally set a more rigorous standard for the TEXSOM International Wine Awards,” said Tidwell. “By employing the best judges in the business and setting the bar high, we’ve established that medals from this competition have more value than others. The caliber and international expertise of our judges bring a global perspective, placing us on par with the best competitions in Europe and beyond. This may be demonstrated by the remarkable consistency (medal percentages within 2%) we’ve seen over the past five years. In fact, the value of a medal in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards is recognized by the promotional and marketing partners we work with who make a concerted effort to market medal-winning wines. All of the above, together with our focus on training and educating the next generation of tastemakers, the TEXSOM International Wine Awards holds a unique position in the wine world.”

In addition to the impressive pedigree of the judges, one of the key and unique aspects of the TEXSOM International Wine Awards is the focus on beverage service education and development. As in previous years, forty individuals from some of the best restaurants and retailers in the country participated in an intensive sommelier retreat. The group participated in four days of workshops, seminars, presentations, and tastings, where they were instructed on such diverse topics as evaluating aged wines to effective self-study practices to tea service. In addition, eight Master Sommeliers mentored each individual participant on their approach to beverage service. These sommelier participants are integral in the preparation of the wines for competition, and therefore note every bottle that is entered. By entering wines in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, wineries support the education and growth of these future tastemakers and benefit from increased exposure to this key audience.

Along with the educational activities, each participant tastes and writes detailed descriptions of a selection of medal winning wines. Five noted wine writers acted as copy editors and helped guide the retreat members in producing these notes. Each note will be highlighted as Featured Wines on the TEXSOM International Wine Awards website and in other promotional pieces over the course of the year.

The TEXSOM International Wine Awards arranges award entries by category of beverage, place of origin, and type. The final list of all winners includes:  Judges’ Selections, Traditional Method Sparkling Wines, Other Sparkling Wines, Fortified (Dry and Sweet), Sake, White Wines, Rosé and Blush Wines, Red Wines, Ciders, and Fruit, Flavored and Honey Wines.

Wines chosen for Judges’ Selections are nominated by judging panels for specific categories, then blind-tasted by special panels to determine the winner of each Selection. Judges’ Selections demonstrate quality and unique character that are exceptional even amongst their medal-winning peers.

The 2018 TEXSOM International Wine Awards was supported by over 150 sommeliers, judges, volunteers and staffers working together to make the competition a success. A list of judges may be found on the website at http://texsomiwa.com/.


Founded in 2005, TEXSOM was started by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and certification, and raise public awareness about the professional standards and certifications for sommeliers. Today the conference draws more than 1,200 attendees, of whom more than 800 are sommeliers and other beverage industry professionals. The TEXSOM group purchased the competition now known as the TEXSOM International Wine Awards in April 2014. One of the largest, most respected, and longest-running in the United States, the competition was founded in 1985 by journalist and wine expert Rebecca Murphy.

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