It is only possible to make world-class wines if one is ready to accept feedback from a diverse international jury comprising of members with a wide tasting experience.
Each year, the organizers of VinAgora International Wine Competition pay special attention to satisfy this prerequisite. In compliance with international standards, at least half of the judges come from outside of Hungary, from close to 15 countries. Most of them are winemakers, but there are several professional writers, sommeliers, and critics as well.
Wines are evaluated in committees of 6-7 persons, under the presidency of the most experienced judge. General rules of the committees' work are:
- at most half of the members are allowed to be from the organizer country
- software-based, 100-point evaluation system
- final score of wines is the numeric average of members' scores (extreme outliers are trimmed)
- winemaker jury members cannot evaluate their own wines in case they have applied to the competition
- wine specialties (e.g. sparkling wines, botrytised wines, etc.) are scored by specialized committees
- every wine is served in a new, clean glass
- bites and water to clean the palate are constantly available
A fully objective wine evaluation does not exist but the VinAgora team makes maximum effort to minimize subjective elements during tasting.
Judges have only access to the following information about samples:
- store ID and rank in tasting series (do not identify the wine to the judge)
- category (e.g. still, dry, fortified, etc.)
Moreover, the following conditions are strictly regulated:
- maximum number of samples tasted in a day (45 dry, or 35 sweet wines)
- length of tasting series (15 at most, followed by a break)
- tasting order within series
- lighting of tasting room (natural, or similar white light)
- air temperature of tasting room
- temperature of wine samples