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Exclusive Interview with Davide Santeramo: Spotlight on Expertise at the London Wine Competition

Davide Santeramo, Senior Sommelier at The Ritz and judge for the London Wine Competition 2024, provide insights into how the LWC differentiates exceptional wines and plays a role in boosting global success for brands.

In this exclusive interview with Davide Santeramo, Senior Sommelier at The Ritz, he provides insights as a judge for the upcoming London Wine Competition 2024. Davide shares thoughts on how the LSC distinguishes outstanding wines and contributes to brands' global success.

According to Davide, the London Wine Competition goes beyond just being a competition. It's a platform for participants to expand industry connections. Davide sees it as a unique chance to interact with a professional panel of judges and colleagues, promoting knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Davide encourages participants not to miss this opportunity. The chance to have wines critiqued without preconceived notions is invaluable. Building connections and receiving professional advice can make a significant impact on business operations.

QnA with Davide Santeramo

Image Soucre: Davide Santeramo

1. As a judge for the London Wine Competition 2024, could you provide insights into the key criteria and factors you emphasize when evaluating wines in the competition? 

I personally look forward to judging in the most objective way, following the basic criteria of differentiating a well-made wine from an average one. I will follow the vital characteristics of the wine; starting from the appearance, followed by the bouquet expressed on the nose, in its intensity and complexity. This should be re-confirmed on the palate, where the evaluation will continue in regards to other key factors like: phenolics integration, acidity of the wine, sweetness if present, overall textural sensation, intensity and aftertaste. The balance between all of these should be as harmonious as possible. 

2. How does the competition's diverse pool of entries contribute to its significance in the wine industry, and how does it align with your judging approach? 

Certainly, the fact that there will be many different wines at different quality levels and price ranges is going to make the evaluation more challenging, however I believe the meter of judgment shouldn’t change. Only by being consistent in my judging approach for every single wine will I help to reveal, at the end, which wines are best, in my opinion. 

3. How does the blind tasting process enhance the integrity of the judging at the London Wine Competition, ensuring a fair evaluation? 

A blind tasting will ensure an equal playing field, with each wine starting at the same level point. If the labels were visible or advised, then subconsciously, the judges may recall memories or links to said winery/producer, which could affect their scoring. The blind tasting instils confidence in the results of the competition, as the wines will undoubtedly be rated on their quality alone. 

4. In your opinion, how does the London Wine Competition contribute to promoting and recognizing excellence in the wine industry, both for participants and consumers? 

For the participants, The London Wine Competition offers an opportunity to showcase and score their wine, amongst the very best producers in the world and in front of prestigious judges, including Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine. Although the judging is critical, no matter their placing, the participants’ involvement will garner beneficial recognition. This will inspire them to excel their product. All in all, this judgment upholds excellence within the industry, which the consumer can then confidently refer to when purchasing wine and may also introduce consumers to different categories and markets.

6. With your global expertise, how do you incorporate a global perspective when evaluating wines in an international competition like the London Wine Competition? 

Of course, cultural and environmental factors will affect the wine produced, and a judge’s awareness of such global parameters is beneficial to the evaluating and understanding of the wine’s identity. Studying and tasting wines from all around the globe has allowed my knowledge on this to grow.

7. Beyond judging, how do you see the London Wine Competition fostering networking opportunities and collaboration within the wine industry? 

I view the London Wine Competition as far more than just a competition. It is a fantastic platform for participants to expand their connections and relations with colleagues and the prominent professional panel of judges, all while increasing their awareness of the industry. It is a rare pleasure to have access to such experts in one field all together and this applies to the judges too, as knowledge sharing is limitless.

8. Encouraging Participation: What advice would you give to wineries and producers considering entering the London Wine Competition to showcase their wines on this prestigious platform? 

My advice is simple, the London Wine Competition is not to be missed. To have your wine critiqued, blind to its label, should always be seen as beneficial. The opportunity to build valuable connections and receive professional advice can make an impactful difference in the business-to-business operation.


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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