KWC STORY

KOREA WINE CHALLENGE KWC STORY

PURPOSE

  • - SELECT BEST WINE FOR KOREAN PALATE AND INTRODUCE GREAT WINE
  • - OFFER THE PLACE FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE GROWTH OF THE WINE MARKET
  • - ESTABLISH A MARKETING STRATEGY FOR THE SETTLING DOWN OF A SOUND WINE CULTURE IN KOREA

HOSTED BY

  • MONTHLY MAGAZINE SPECIALIZING IN WINE winereview

KWC 2017 selects the best wines for the Korean palate

This year marked the 13th anniversary of Korea’s one and only International Wine Competition, known as the Korea Wine Challenge (KWC), hosted by the monthly magazine <Wine Review>. Under the slogan of ‘Selecting the best quality wines for the Korean palate to introduce the most trustworthy wines to customers,’ KWC has made dedicated efforts to develop the Korean wine market over the past 12 years. Domestically, KWC is considered an unparalleled platform for identifying global trends in the wine industry, while being one of the useful indicators for overseas wineries to consider when preparing to enter the Korean market. The judges for the KWC 2017 consisted of wine experts including practicing sommeliers working in close contact with the general public, and wine importers who actually import fine wines into Korea through carefully researching the preferences of the general population.

For KWC 2017, a total of 810 wines from 23 countries were exhibited, constituting an array from the most diverse set of countries in the competition’s history. Once again, there were stand-out wines from countries that are less familiar in Korea, including Greece, Romania, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, and Indonesia. The participation rate for sparkling wines was 9.1 percent, significantly higher than the average of 4 to 5 percent seen in previous years. A range of sweet wines and fortified wines were also exhibited. It is distinctions like these that give KWC its unique position in Korea as a prestigious international wine competition. By reflecting the expansion of the internationally strong sparkling wine market, KWC can be seen as leading the diversification of the Korean wine market.

Over the last two weeks, from Monday, June 12, through Friday, June 23, all of the wines that participated in this competition were categorized according to country of origin, variety, blending ratio, oenology and price, as well as being evaluated through impartial and strictly monitored blind tasting. The competition adopted a 100-point scoring system in which a default score of 50 points was given to all wines entering the contest as a courtesy for the effort of sending a bottle of wine for the competition. The remaining 50 points were strictly and fairly evaluated by a select panel of judges in the following categories; 6 points for the ‘color and appearance’, 12 points for ‘aroma and bouquet’, 20 points for ‘flavor and finish’, and 12 points for ‘harmony and balance’. To ensure impartiality, a brand-new panel was assembled, and the selection criteria and regulations for judges were made even more rigorous, as befits an internationally reputable competition whose global recognition has increased with every passing year of its 13-year history. With 19 judge facilitators added for the first time since the KWC began, the panelists for KWC 2017 also included the existing judging panel of 26 and 12 new panelists drawn from award-winners or otherwise qualified judges. For one year, the 19 judge facilitators will serve as ambassadors promoting the award-winning wines from KWC 2017, for instance, by writing feature articles related to the event 2017 and taking part in marketing activities, such as tasting events for award-winning wines.

The inclusion of a variety of quality fine wines has raised the international reputation of the KWC to global status and opened wider opportunities for the Korean wine market. As for the KWC 2017’s awards, ‘Trophies’ were given to the best wines in seven different categories: Red, White, Sparkling, Rose, Sweet, Ice, and Fortified. Additional awards, equally prestigious to a trophy, were bestowed on wines scoring over 94 points, including products from 13 countries. A total of 11 Best Reds and 2 Best Whites with the highest points were awarded among wines from nations with the highest number of entries this year. Best Country awards went to Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, USA, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic. This year a Red wine from Romania and a White wine from the Czech Republic showed more superb quality than ever, leading their nations to win the Best Country awards. Those 11 Best Red wines contended with each other to clinch the one and only ‘Trophy’ red wine. From a total of 810 entries at the KWC 2017, the final tally of awards was 7 Trophies, 13 Best Countries, 113 Gold Medals, 179 Silver Medals, and 136 Bronze Medals. These wines will hopefully serve as superb guides for Korean wine consumers, showing the way in selecting fine wines.

KWC JURY MEMBERS SINCE 2005

Min-Seok Kyung Hyo-Seok Ko Yong Kim Si-Bo Kim
In-Gyu Kim Ju-Yong Kim Jin-Yong Kim Yoon-Kyu Park
Eun-Ae Park Jong-Sub Park Dong-Hyuk Shin Doo-Hee Woo
Hye-Yun Woo Yoon-Hee Lee Jae-Min Lee Jong-Hwa Lee
Chang-Geun Lee Yoon-joo Jo Young-June Choi Eun-Sik Choi
Jong-Ae Choi Sung-Il Han Sung-Hee Han Seung-Ho Hwang
Yong-Hee Kim Hyeop Kim Sun-Young Moon Chang-Ho Moon
Ji-Gwang Park Se-Jung Bae Myung-Hee Song Dong-Ik Shin
Jung-Hee Yang Hyung-Woo Oh Min-Young Yoo Hyo-Jung Yoon
Paul Eun Joo-Hyun Lee Dae-Seong Jung Nae-Jin Cho
Soo-Min Jo Young-Hyun Cho Hyun-Cheol Cho John Choi
Jeong-Eun Choi Sun-Pil Kang Si-Gyun Kim Chang-Mo Kim
Yang-Soo Jang Lark-Mi Jung Mi-Gyeong Kim Min-Joo Kim
A-Lim Kim Jun-Geun Kim Jin-Seop Kim Hyun-Soo Kim
Hui-Su Kim Min-Wook Bak Hyeong-Min Park Seon-Yong Shin
Yoon-Ju Yang Ga-Ram Lee So-Ri Lee Soo-Jung Lee
Seung-Hoon Lee Joo-Hyeong Lee Chang-Ik Lee Woon-Kyung Jang
Hyi-Su Han Jae-Kyung Hong Sang-Gun Kim Seok-Geun Kim
Seon-Hui Kim Nathan Kim Yeong-Uk Kim Yong-Hyeon Kim
Yun-Ki Kim Hyeon-Ju Kim Hyung-Nam Kim Hye-Ryeong Kim
Heung-Su Kim Hee-Jeon Kim Hae-Won Park Gyeong-Seon Seo
Won-Seon Seo Hee-Seok Suh Yong-Ran Song Dong-Hoon Shin
Chang-Min Shin Jun-Hwan An Hye-Sung An Dae-Hoon Yang
Je-Gyu Woo Byeong-Gyun Yoo Seung-Min Yoo Young-Jin Yoo
Il-Yong Yoon Dong-Gu Lee Dong-Gyu Lee Sang-Jun Lee
Sang-Hoon Lee Jung-Hoon Lee Je-Hun Lee Jun-Haeng Lee
Hyun-rae Lim Mi-Hyun Jung Jae-Hoon Jung Ha-Bong Jung
Eul-Ho Cho Tae-Ik Choi Chang-Won Ha Young-Il Han
Gyu-Yeon Ham Sun-Ho Hwang

THE JUDGE COMMENTS

LEE DONG-GYU_HAEVICHI HOTEL & RESORT JEJU MANAGER
“I FEEL THE REPUTATION AND STATUS OF KOREA WINE CHALLENGE IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF MANY PARTICIPANTS FROM UN-IMPORTED HIGH QUALITY WINES.”
LEE SEUNG-HOON_VINAFO OWNER SOMMELIER
“KOREA WINE CHALLENGE PROVIDES THE GUIDELINES FOR CONSUMERS TO SELECT THE WINES. ALSO, IT CAN HELP THE UN-IMPORTED WINES TO ENTER THE KOREAN MARKET.”
JUNG HA-BONG_JW MARRIOT HOTEL CHIEF SOMMELIER
“KOREA WINE CHALLENGE HAS IMPORTANT MEANINGS THAT THE KOREAN DIRECTLY SELECT THE BEST WINES THAT ARE DISTRIBUTED OR WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN KOREAN MARKET FOR THE KOREAN CONSUMERS.”
EVAN GOLDSTEIN_U.S. MASTER SOMMELIER
“FROM MY UNDERSTANDING, THIS KWC IS THE MOST RESPECTED ARBITER OF TASTE IN KOREA. THE PROFESSIONALISM AND SKILL UNDER WHICH THE KWC IS HELD ANNUALLY REAFFITMS THIS POSITIONING TO ME.”
DENIS GASTIN_INTERNATIONAL WINE JOURNALIST AND WINE CONSULTANT
“I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE KWC HAS MADE A SOLID CONTRIBUTION TO THIS PROCESS OF EVOLUTION BY GIVING CONSUMERS AND THE WINE TRADE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED EVALUATIONS AND RANKINGS OF THE WINES THAT ARE SEEKING TO ENTER THE MARKET OR ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE WITHIN THE MARKET.”

JUDGING METHOD

THE JUDGEMENT SHEET FOR KOREA WINE CHALLENGE IS BASED ON THE RATING SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF ITALIAN SOMMELIERS[ASI] AND ADAPTED TO CONDITION-IN KOREA

EVALUATION METHOD - FOUR CATEGORIES OF JUDGING A WINE ARE APPLOIED IN A WEIGHTED SCALE TO A WINE AS EXPLAINED BELOW.
COLOR AND APPEARANCE 6 POINTS
AROMA AND BOUQUET 12 POINTS
FLAVOR AND FINISH 20 POINTS
HARMONY AND BALANCE 12 POINTS
BASIC POINT 50 POINTS (FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF PRODUCING THE WINE AND DELIVERING IT FOR THE COMPETITION)
TOTAL POINT 100 POINTS
※ ALL THE WINES ENTERING THE COMPETITION ARE RATED UNDER BLIND TASTIN SETTING. THE NOTES PROVIDED TO THE JUDGES CONTAIN ONLY THE MINIMUM INFORMATION ON THE WINE

SAMPLE EVALUATION FORM