Conflicting standards have long provided a significant hurdle in the public perception of spirits competition. However, the sector took a major step towards eliminating the issue this week with the formation of The Tasting Alliance. The new group was formed when Anthony Dias Blue’s respected San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) acquired full ownership of the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition (NYWSC).
The three events will still be staged annually, but the partnership will allow for standardization of judging methods as well as increased opportunities for cross-pollination on the PR end of things.
“Our purpose is to standardize the meticulous and rigorous procedures, currently used in both the SFWSC and the SFIWC, and propagate them across other competitions,” said Blue in a statement.
There will be some tweaks as well. New categories will be added including Native American and hybrid wines. NYWSC also plans to add “particular emphasis on craft distillers and start-ups.”
SFWSC already commands tremendous respect within the industry. The competition was last staged this April; a 47 judge panel comprised of all-stars like Dave Wondrich, Ivy Mix, and Tony Abou-Ganim, sampled 2450 spirits contending in 100+ categories.
NYWSC is slated for August 22 and 23rd. The Tasting Alliance promises that the two days will “offer a unique east coast perspective but maintain the same level of integrity as SFWSC and SFWIC through scrupulous judging techniques.” Judges include Amanda Victoria, Communications Director of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Josimar Souza, Spirit Sommelier at the Brandy Library. Wine judges include top wine expert Jim Trezise, President of Wine America and acclaimed journalists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Breacher of Grape Collective .