Judges will award Critics Silver honors to wines that demonstrate above average character for the wine type and place of origin. Critics Gold honors will be awarded to wines that rise above a straightforward recommendation.
Critics Platinum awards will be reserved for wines nominated for Best of Show in these categories: sparkling, rose, white, red and dessert. All judges will participate in the tasting evaluation and vote for Best of Show and Wine of the Year.
Judges will taste all wines blind, but may ask for information about place of origin or grape varieties included in a blend. Producer, price and vintage will not be disclosed until the close of the competition. The Director may, at his discretion, recognize outstanding performances by an individual winery or importer following tabulation of all results. Awards will be announced at www.CriticsChallenge.com and by regular mail.
A complete wine entry is comprised of six (6) 750ml bottles, or the equivalent. Grape varieties, residual sugar, appellation, vineyard designation, proprietary names and retail price must be listed on the entry form with each entry. For spirits entries such as brandy, Cognac or grappa, the requirement is three (3) 750ml bottles of the equivalent.
Please fill out the wine competition entry form completely and accurately. The winery's telephone number, email address and contact person are important. Winners will be notified shortly after the end of the wine competition by email, telephone or regular U.S. mail.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to enter each wine in the proper category. If a category does not exist for your wine, leave the category field blank and the Director will assign the wine to the correct category or create a new category, if necessary, using the varietal composition and residual sugar level as a guide. Wines entered in the wrong category will be moved to the correct category by the Director.
Enter the wine's name as it appears on the label. The wine's label will determine how the wine is identified to consumers and industry when awards are announced.
Entry Fees and Dates
$90 per entry
Final Entry Deadline and Wine Deadline: 2014 Dates will be posted soon
Make checks payable to Critics Challenge.
Payment can also be made by Visa, Master Card and American Express. Credit card charges will appear on yourstatement as "Wine Cellar Productions".
Mail Entry Form and fees (not wine) to:
302 Washington St. #139
San Diego, CA 92103-2110
Alternative Entry Methods:
Attention: Robert Whitley
Ship WINES ONLY to:
1735 Hancock St
San Diego, CA 92101-1118
(Do not include payment with wine shipment)
You are encouraged to ship it at your earliest opportunity to allow time for processing it and to resolve any issues or shipping errors.
Please keep a copy of your entry form for your records. One copy should also be enclosed with your wine shipment. If credit card information is on the entry form, delete it on the shipping copy.
It is best for foreign wineries to use their own importer or agent to clear their wines through U.S. Customs. A winery without representation in the United States may still enter using the Critics Challenge's import agent, Accolade Brands. Accolade will need winery name, wine name, grape varieties, retail value and alcohol content on each wine for the forms it submits to the TTB for the approvals that are required. A fee of $75 will be charged for clearing up to three entries through U.S. Customs if the shipper uses a freight forwarder such as FedEx or DHL. The fee for entries that arrive via direct air freight is $150. The fee for more than three entries using a freight forwarder is $150; for more than three entries using direct air freight, $300. All import fees are due in advance along with the entry fees. Information about the wines to be cleared should be faxed to 619-294-4878 or emailed to Director Robert Whitley at firstname.lastname@example.org. All foreign entries imported by the Competition should indicate Accolade Brands as the importer on the commercial invoice, using Robert Whitley as the contact person and 619-804-0371 as the contact phone number.
NOTE: The above fee is for import services only. Sender is responsible for shipping costs and any duties, taxes, customs charges or other fees accessed by your carrier or third parties with whom you contract. Sender is responsible for filing Prior Notice unless otherwise agreed upon.
IMPORTANT: Do not ship the wines until the necessary COLA waivers have been obtained from TTB.
Regulatory requirements include, but may not be limited to:
1) Each individual container must bear a label stating "Sample Only - Not for Sale", or similar phrase displayed in a conspicuous manner.
2) Each individual container must bear a label with the following health warning statement mandated by law: "GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems."
3) Each individual container must bear a label stating "Contains Sulfites".
4) Products must comply with the minimum labeling requirements above prior to arrive at the US port of entry.