The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is an international wine competition established and managed by Britain’s Decanter wine magazine. The competition was established in 2004 by renowned UK wine critic Stephen Spurrier – the figure behind the 1976 Judgment of Paris – and has remained among the most prominent European wine competitions ever since.
Each year, many hundreds of wines are submitted for review by the DWWA, all of which must undergo a preliminary assessment before they are put forward to the official stages. The wines are judged by multiple panels, each chaired by a regional or category specialist. The judging team, of hundreds, is picked from a broad spectrum of disciplines including winemakers, retailers and wine writers. Decanter’s own writers – notably Andrew Jefford and Spurrier himself – take part in the judging, as do regional specialists such as Tom Stevenson, Jim Budd, Gerard Basset and 'Wine Doctor' Chris Kissack.
Both medals and trophies are awarded at the DWWA. The medals are broken down into the standard gold, silver and bronze categories, while the trophies are assigned first on a regional basis and ultimately on an international basis for the competition's top wines. There are also wines which are 'commended' by the show's judges. These are entries that have not won a medal but are nonetheless considered worthy of mention, and can be identified on retailers' shelves by a light-blue sticker.
The results of the annual DWWA are published on Decanter’s website, www.decanter.com.