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Wednesday, 7 September 2011, 18:00 HKT/SGT

Source: Singapore Exhibition Services (SES)
WSA Wine Challenge 2012 to Reveal Asia's Choice for the Asian Palate
Asia's most prestigious wine competition to be held 21-22 March 2012

SINGAPORE, Sept 7, 2011 - (ACN Newswire) - The WSA Wine Challenge 2012 is one of the most prestigious blind tasting wine events of its kind held in Singapore. The event, now in its fifth edition, is organised to the highest international standards and brings together leading wine buyers, sommeliers, and wine writers from both the region and the rest of the world.

Jointly organised by Singapore Exhibition Services (SES) and Asia Wine Specialist, WSA Wine Challenge 2012 was launched on 6 September 2011 at an exclusive event which was attended by wine distributors, wine writers and members of the media. WSA Wine Challenge is slated to be held next year from 21 - 22 March 2012.

The Challenge in 2010, having received 470 entries from all over the world, has bestowed international wineries and winemakers more visibility for their wines in Asia.

Mr. Neal Ibbotson, Founder and Director of Saint Clair Family Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand, entered his wines in the WSA Wine Challenge 2010 and won several awards. "This was my first time to Singapore and I entered the WSA Wine Challenge. I won two Gold awards for my Saint Clair Family Estate Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009 and Saint Clair Family Estate Pioneer Block 3 "43" Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2009," said Mr. Ibbotson.

"Following these awards I had a string of agents wanting to represent my wines here in Asia. The challenge really worked well by giving us added exposure. Most importantly, the awards gave us a unique distinction from the many other wine producers at the show who are all chasing the limited number of importers serving this market."

For Mr. Philippe Sambor, Regional Director (Asia) of Cafe Calva, a division of Connectrust which distributes Champagne Mandois in Singapore, the WSA Wine Challenge has not only increased the visibility of his wines in the market, it has also opened new doors for business opportunities which were hitherto unavailable to the boutique French wine labels that he represents. Mr. Sambor submitted 10 of his wines in the 2010 Wine Challenge, seven of which received Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, including the 'Best Sparkling Wine' award for the Henri Mandois Brut Origine NV. Mr. Sambor said, "We definitely benefitted from the award by having Singapore Airlines invite Champagne Mandois bid for the Business Class inflight champagne pouring tender.

"The competition is very rigorous and the Challenge has proven itself to be meritocratic and a cut above others, as it recognises extremely good quality wines based solely on their merits and, thus, gives a chance for wines that are not from the big brand names to shine," Mr. Sambor added.

Enthusiasm for the upcoming WSA Wine Challenge is at a high level. The WSA Wine Challenge 2010 received overwhelming positive feedback from the judges and participants, achieving great success and gathering recommendations from across the wine and spirit industry. For 2012, the challenge will be expanded with even more Asia-based judges with influence on wine purchases.

The panel of judges is headed by the competition's Chief Judge, Mr. Joel Payne, a highly respected Europe-based wine expert. Before judging, submitted wines are stored at the exhibition's wine cellars to ensure they reach the judges in perfect condition. The results themselves are then checked by the panel's Chief Judge, giving entrants complete confidence in the rigor and accuracy of the results.

Mr. Payne said, "Many challenges bring in international jurors from around the world to judge the entries, but do we need English panellists to explain to the locals what an Italian wine should taste like? Our goal is to have at least one judge from each of the 10 to 12 major Asian markets, such as China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam."

"The judges all have broad knowledge and judging experience, and, thus, have an Asian interpretation of which wines are best for these markets. We also try to assure a healthy mix of journalists, importers and sommeliers in order to look at the market from as many aspects as possible. The WSA Wine Challenge is a great opportunity for these wines to be presented to the people who buy them - wine buyers, sommeliers and writers."

Entries for the WSA Wine Challenge 2012 are now open. Judging will take place on 21 - 22 March 2012 at One Degree 15, Sentosa, one month before WSA2012 (Wine&SpiritsAsia2012) - the region's premier international exhibition of wine and spirits. The Challenge is held in partnership with WSA. Results from the WSA Wine Challenge 2012 will be announced on 16th April 2012, one day before the opening of the exhibition.

About Chief Judge, Joel Payne

Joel, an expatriate American who has lived in Europe since 1979, was thrice Germany's best sommelier. Beyond a long career as wine buyer and consultant, he has been active as a wine journalist for over 25 years and is a regular contributor to international wine magazines. Best known for his German Wine Guide, which has appeared annually since 1992, Joel is a founding member of the Grand Jury Europeen. Joel was the President of the International Circle of Wine Writers from 2007 to 2010. He is currently the Vice-President and is charged with developing the group's mission in Asia. www.winespiritsasia.com/the-judges

About Asia Wine Specialist, Roderic Proniewski

Roderic is co-organiser of the WSA Wine Challenge since 2010. Having developed a passion for wine at a young age, "tasting" his parents' cellar and harvesting grapes in the vineyards of Provence, Roderic is a member of L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Confrerie du Sabre D'Or, and the International Wine and Food Society. Roderic recently obtained accreditation from Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux. He was a judge for the prestigious Michelangelo Tasting in South Africa and the IWC London Wine Challenge.

Carmen Chan
Senior PR Executive
Singapore Exhibition Services
Tel: +65 6233 6637
Fax: +65 6272 2962
Email: car@sesallworld.com

Topic: Trade Show or Conference
Source: Singapore Exhibition Services (SES)

Sectors: Trade Shows, Media & Marketing, IT Individual, Consumer Electronics
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