The International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) is an annual contest which reviews and assesses several thousand wines and spirits from its London base. It has been run every year since it was founded in 1969 by wine chemist Anton Massel. The founder’s focus on chemical analysis is maintained today – every product recommended by the IWSC is tested by an independent laboratory after the awards are given.
The IWSC is organized so that all wines are tasted blind; glasses are poured prior to the arrival of the judges, so even the bottles and shapes remain unknown.
The judges themselves are drawn from an eclectic range of wine-related industries such as winemaking, wine-writing, distilling, retailing, distribution and hospitality. The medals the competition awards are bronze (75–79 points), silver (80–89 points) and gold (90–100 points). For class-winning wines, the mention 'Best in Class' is appended to the medal and award. Trophies are also awarded every year to products, producers, retail companies and individuals.
Each year, the IWSC is presided over by an elected president. Former holders of this office have included Wolf Blass (2005), Baroness Philippine de Rothschild (2000), Miguel Torres (1999), Robert Mondavi (1983) and Harry Waugh (1981). In 2010, the president was Prince Robert of Luxembourg (great-grandson of Clarence Dillon and president of Domaine Clarence Dillon), confirming the competition’s international character and the respect that it commands.
For complete lists of competition-winning wines and information on the competition itself, visit www.iwsc.net.