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Photo for: Unveiling the Art of Wine Judging with Davide Santeramo, London Wine Competition 2024 Judge


Unveiling the Art of Wine Judging with Davide Santeramo, London Wine Competition 2024 Judge

Engage in exceptional wine discussions with Davide Santeramo, Senior Sommelier from The Ritz London and a judge at the London Wine Competition 2024. Explore his judging insights, the diverse competition, and The Ritz's luxury hospitality.

In the intricate world of wine, the London Wine Competition stands as a pinnacle of judgment and recognition. As we gear up for the 2024 event, Davide Santeramo, a distinguished judge, offers insights into his approach, the competition's diversity, and the broader landscape of luxury hospitality.

Davide Santeramo, with an eye trained to discerning nuances, delves into the core criteria that shape his judgment. Emphasizing objectivity, he highlights the journey from a wine's appearance to its aftertaste. For Santeramo, a well-made wine's balance lies in the harmonious integration of crucial elements, including phenolics, acidity, sweetness, and overall textural sensation.

Image Source: The Ritz, London

The strength of the London Competitions lies in its diverse array of entries. Santeramo acknowledges the challenge posed by wines of varying qualities and price ranges but underlines the unchanging meter of judgment. Consistency in evaluating each wine ensures a fair and unbiased assessment, revealing the true gems of the competition.

The blind tasting process, according to Santeramo, is the great equalizer. Stripping away labels levels the playing field, preventing subconscious biases that might arise from familiarity with a particular winery or producer. Confidence in the competition's results is thus instilled, anchored solely in the quality of the wines.

Image Source: London Competition 2023

Participation in the London Wine Competition is a global stage for winemakers. Santeramo sees the critical judging process as an opportunity for participants to showcase their wines among the world's best producers, gaining invaluable recognition. This, he believes, serves as a catalyst for continuous improvement and excellence, a benchmark trusted by discerning consumers.

With a wealth of global expertise, Santeramo recognizes the impact of cultural and environmental factors on wine production. A judge's awareness of these parameters enriches the evaluation process, providing a deeper understanding of each wine's unique identity shaped by its origin.

The London Wine Competition transcends its role as a competition. Santeramo views it as a unique platform for participants to expand their professional network. Bringing together industry experts and professionals creates an environment ripe for knowledge sharing, fostering collaboration, and enhancing awareness within the industry.

Image Source: London Competition Judges 2024

For wineries and producers contemplating entry, Santeramo's advice is unequivocal—the London Wine Competition is an unmissable opportunity. Blind critiques, he asserts, offer invaluable insights, while the chance to build connections and receive professional advice can significantly impact business operations.

In his role at The Ritz London, Santeramo navigates the trends of luxury hospitality with finesse. While cognizant of industry trends, he emphasizes the importance of authenticity, ensuring wine selections align with the restaurant's concept.

Image Source: The Ritz, Davide Santeramo

Highlighting standout wines from The Ritz London's selection, Santeramo mentions wines like Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 and Chateau Palmer 2005. These wines, reflecting luxury through meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, align with The Ritz's commitment to excellence.

Image Source: Château Palmer 2005

Crafting perfect pairings is an art mastered at The Ritz. Santeramo recommends pairings such as a Kabinett Riesling with Ballotine of Duck Liver or a 'Tokaji Aszu’ with Banana and Caramel Parfait, showcasing the symphony of flavors that defines the restaurant's culinary offerings.

Image Source: Wines of Hungary

Educating patrons about the nuances of fine wines is a priority at The Ritz. Masterclasses, supplier tastings, and educational trips contribute to the sommelier team's knowledge, enabling them to enhance the overall dining experience by sharing the history and culture behind each wine.

Making luxury accessible is an art perfected at The Ritz London. Santeramo explains how the sommelier team showcases the intriguing world of wine, offering involvement based on guest preferences. Utilizing technology like Coravin allows them to make prestige wines accessible by the glass, ensuring a comfortable exploration of the extensive selection.

Image Source: Coravin

In essence, Davide Santeramo's insights illuminate the multifaceted world of wine—from the meticulous evaluation at the London Wine Competition to the curated luxury experiences offered at The Ritz London. As we anticipate the 2024 competition, these reflections provide a glimpse into the standards of excellence upheld by industry leaders and the enchanting journey that awaits participants and patrons alike.

In an interview with Ankita Okate, Chief Growth Officer at Beverage Trade Network


Call for domestic and international submission is now open for London Wine Competition. Enter your wines before 31 August 2024 to get super early bird pricing. Register now and ship later to save.

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