When will the judging take place and when will the results be announced?

Judging will begin in early April and will be completed before the end of the month. We expect to announce the results in June, publishing our annual supplement in July.

When is the deadline for entries?

Friday, March 17 2023. Please make sure your wines have arrived with The Online Tasting Company in Leighton Buzzard by this date, and that you have submitted your entries to us via the portal to us. Cleared payment must be received before judging day. Full details below.

The wine I want to enter is also on sale in some on-trade accounts. Can it still be entered?

Yes. We appreciate that many wines aimed at the independent market are also sold to on-trade customers. But we are not interested in wines that are distributed in major on-trade accounts (eg national pub chains) any more than we are interested in supermarket wines.

What if my wine is on sale in Majestic?

Although this is a grey area for some indies, the majority take the view that they would rather not list wines that are available in Majestic. So unless the wine is sold under a different name in Majestic, we’d prefer not to have it entered into the competition.

I’d like to take part in the judging. How do I apply?

If you’re a UK-based independent wine merchant, with a shop, you are very welcome to apply to be a judge. Please send your details to claire@winemerchantmag.com and we’ll give you more details about how to get involved.

Is the competition open to sparkling and fortified wines?

Yes, these wines are very welcome.

I’m an independent wine merchant and import a small amount of wines for my own business. Can these wines enter the competition?

Yes. Even if the wines are only on sale in one shop, they can still be entered into The Wine Merchant Top 100.

Can I pay by credit card to enter?

Sadly, we’re not currently able to take credit cards. Once your entry form has been received and approved, we’ll issue an invoice and you can either pay by cheque or electronic payment.

When should I send the wines, and where do they need to go?

We can accept entries straight away. Once you’ve completed the entry form, and emailed it to us, please send the wines to:

Wine Merchant Top 100
C/O Online Tasting Company
Unit K3
Cherrycourt Way
Leighton Buzzard
Beds LU7 4UH

Deliveries are accepted Monday,  Friday 9am – 4.30pm

We can only accept entry forms electronically so please don’t tuck a print-out inside the box. And please mark all boxes Wine Merchant Top 100 or there’s a risk your wines could go astray in a very busy warehouse.

How many wines must I send?

Four bottles for each entry are required. We cannot make any exceptions as we need to ensure all wines are tasted by a similar number of judges.

What happens if I win?

We’ll send you the marketing material you need to maximise the benefit of being a winner, including logos that can be used in marketing material or on stickers.

I have some wines that are very subtle in flavour. Won’t the judges overlook these wines in favour of wines that are more aggressively flavoured?

We appreciate that this is an occupational hazard of most wine competitions, which is why our judges are briefed to be on the alert for wines that may, on first taste, seem rather austere or uninteresting. We fully appreciate that such wines often come into their own with food, and need some extra sensitivity from the judges. By employing the services of independent retailers who are quite used to dealing in wines of this nature, we believe we significantly reduce the risk of delicately flavoured wines being automatically marked down.

You’ve introduced an “under £15” category. Do I have to enter this separately?

No. Once our judges have completed their tasting and submitted their comments and scores, we will collate the Top 100 and Highly Commended charts in the usual way. But we will also be creating a separate list of the top performing wines with an RRP of £15 or below. Some of these wines will already be in the Top 100 or Highly Commended placings, but it’s possible that some will not.

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