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TEXSOM International Wine Awards Announces 2020 Winners


Most Selective Competition in the United States Sets the Gold Standard

Dallas, Texas (March 6, 2020) –– TEXSOM Co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell today announced the results for the 2020 TEXSOM International Wine Awards. The Awards garnered 2,875 total entries representing 25 countries and 19 U.S. States.

Entries in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards were blind-tasted and judged by internationally renowned tastemakers from all over the world, including 19 Master Sommeliers, 16 Masters of Wine, and other category experts. Of these entries, the judges awarded 2,065 medals: 327 Gold medals (12% of entries judged), 815 Silver medals (29%), and 927 Bronze medals (33%). Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from US $2.64 to over US $700. Vintages spanned decades, with the oldest being from 1996.

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 workshops, seminars, presentations, and tastings, where they were instructed on such diverse topics as blind tasting fortified wines to evaluating beers to how to be a good interview source for the media. In addition, Master Sommeliers mentored each individual participant on their approach to beverage service while presenting mock service challenges to the participants. These retreat participants are integral in the preparation of the wines for competition, and with the help of distinguished sommelier writing mentors, created tasting notes on select medal-winning wines. 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. 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.

“We are happy to be able to share the insights gained by the judges and sommeliers who participated in IWA 2020.” Says TEXSOM founder, James Tidwell. “The entries in this year’s competition reflected the broader wine industry with alternative packaging, RTD and wine cocktails, hybrid and non-vinifera varieties, high quality fruit wines, specialty sake, and emerging regions in addition to the many classic and traditional styles of wine, grape varieties, and producing areas. A 2006 vintage, 10 years lees-aged Cortese from Italy won the Judges’ Selection medal for Italian white wine and a Sherry barrel-aged unfortified white wine won the Judges’ Selection medal for Spanish white wine. Petit Manseng, Pinotage, and Areni are grape varieties represented in Judges’ Selection medal-winning wines. Armenia, Mexico, and Uruguay each had wines amongst the Judges’ Selection medal winners. English sparkling wines, Greek wines, and Texas wines had another strong year. Oregon had four Judges’ Selection winners, two of which were from Southern Oregon. Wines from two different wineries in Idaho were recognized with Judges’ Selection medals. But, the classics from regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja, Tokaji, Mosel, Napa Valley, and Sonoma were equally well-awarded. We feel this diversity is one of the strengths of IWA, and along with the quality of the judges and high level of participants in the Sommelier Retreat allows us to bring value to our award-winners.”

The TEXSOM International Wine Awards arranges award entries by category of beverage, place of origin, and type. Medals are awarded on a merit basis as bronze, silver, gold, or Judges’ Selection nomination, which are elevated to platinum.  

Wines demonstrating quality and unique character that are exceptional even amongst their medal-winning peers may be nominated by judging panels for specific Judges’ Selection categories. All Judges’ Selection nominees are elevated to platinum medal. These platinum medal wines are blind tasted by special panels to award the winner for each category of Judges’ Selection medal. This year 52 Judges’ Selection medals were awarded.

The 2020 TEXSOM International Wine Awards was supported by over 216 sommeliers, judges, volunteers and staffers working together to make the competition a success. A list of participants may be found on the website at https://texsom.com/the-people/.


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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