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 2018 selects the best wines for the Korean palate

This year marked the 14th anniversary of Korea’s one and only International Wine Competition, known as the Korea Wine Challenge (KWC), hosted by the monthly magazine . 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 13 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 2018 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.

A total of 660 wines from 16 countries were exhibited at the KWC, 2018. Although the number is slightly less than the previous year, exhibitors selected wine with high quality, and approximately 70% of the total wines were listed on the award list. This year, a surprise entry was made from countries such as Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, Greece, Canada, and China with their distinctive wines. Furthermore, Australia became the most exhibited country over Chile for the first time in 14 years of the KWC history. Since Australian wines won three of the seven categories of trophy wines, it is possible to anticipate some positive changes and growth in the Australian wine industry which have undergone a downturn over the past while. Following the last year, the participation rate of sparkling wine was 6%, showing an increase from the average participation rate of 4%. Also, various sweet wines and ice wines were exhibited. As the most prestigious international wine conventions in Korea, KWC is one and only and reflects the reality of the wine market, leading the diversification of the domestic wine market.

Over the last two weeks, from Monday, June 11, through Wednesday, June 20, 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’. As this is a highly publicized international convention greeting its 14th anniversary, it was successfully completed because the criteria and regulations of the judges were more strictly enforced for fair judgement, and the judges paid more attention to the examination due to the higher quality of the wine compared with the previous year, as befits an internationally reputable competition whose global recognition has increased with every passing year of its 14-year history. 50 existing judging committee members who have participated in the previous KWC, and 8 new judges who won various prizes from various exhibitions were chosen and joined the KWC 2018. 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 2018’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 10 countries. A total of 9 Best Reds and 1 Best Whites with the highest points were awarded among wines from nations with the highest number of entries this year. Best of Country awards went to Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and USA. This year, the best wines of each category were selected as winners, showing a more superior quality than any other year.

Those 11 Best Red wines contended with each other to clinch the one and only ‘Trophy’ red wine. From a total of 660 entries at the KWC 2018, the final tally of awards was 7 Trophies, 10 Best of Countries, 117 Gold Medals, 232 Silver Medals, and 100 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 Chang-Shin Kang Hyun-Uk Kim
Hyung-Nam Kim Yoon-Ha Bae Jun-Woo Lee Jun-Seon Choi
Chang-Geun Choi Kwang-Hyun Hong

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