In January of each year the Saanich Sommeliers winemaking club hosts a wine and beer competition, open to any member of a club affiliated with the British Columbia Amateur Winemakers Association (BCAWA). Wines are entered for judging and the award of medals.
Rules, regulations and registration details appear on this website approximately 4 to 6 weeks prior to the competition. See below for details regarding the Wine Judging at the Saanich Sommeliers Annual Competition and Wine Classes at the Saanich Sommeliers Annual Competition.
Following its competition, the Saanich Sommeliers club opens its doors to family and friends of club members to enjoy some enticing snacks and to invite them to bid on our silent auction. This auction affords club members and their family and friends to purchase items ranging from winemaking equipment, special lunches or dinners, handicrafts as well as sailing trips and weekend getaways.
WINE JUDGING at the SAANICH SOMMELIERS ANNUAL COMPETITION
Wines are judged by members of the BC Guild of Wine Judges and (at times) by qualified guest judges. Wine judging at the competition follows the standards set by the BC Guild of Wine Judges (www.bcgwj.ca). Judging is done to a medal standard using the 20 point Davis system:
- 18 to 20 points = Gold Medal
- 16 to 17.99 points = Silver Medal
- 14 to 15.99 points = Bronze Medal
- Less than 14 points = no medal
The 20 point Davis system for judging is made up of the following components:
- Appearance 1 point
- Nose 5 points
- Balance 5 points
- Taste 3 points
- Finish 3 points
- General Quality 3 points
Medals are awarded accordingly and there are also trophies awarded for “Best in Class” in certain wine varietals.
Each wine is judged by two members of the BC Guild of Wine Judges. All entrants receive “comment” sheets from the judges, commenting on the good attributes of the wine entered and the characteristics of the wine that need improvement.
WINE CLASSES at the SAANICH SOMMELIERS ANNUAL COMPETITION
Class A Aperitif Sherry
This class is intended for dry and not very sweet sherry, Madeira and related wines. The very sweet wines of these types belong in the After Dinner Class.
Class B Aperitif
Herbed or otherwise flavoured wine for use as an aperitif. Wines that exhibit the strong aperitif characteristic of the ingredient such as citrus, muscat, or other strongly-flavoured fruits belong in this class. The class includes vermouth type wines as well as those similar to the patent aperitifs. Most tend to the sweet rather than the dry end of the sugar spectrum.
Class C Red Table
- Bordeaux Blend
- Pinot Noir
- Other Dry Red
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rhone Style Red
- Non-Vinifera Red Grape
Class D White Table
- Pinot (White)
- Other Dry White
- Aromatic White Grape
Class E Rosé
Light, refreshing pink wines. In grape rosé wines, varietal characteristic is a definite plus. Strongly aromatic wines such as raspberry are generally unsuitable for use as table wines.
Class F Dessert
Wines to be drunk with the dessert course of the meal. Should be sweet and luscious, but with sufficient acid to prevent them from being cloying. Alcohol must have been developed by fermentation of the wine. These are NOT fortified wines.
Wines such as ports, sweet sherries, Madeira types, and other wines that are fortified, baked or otherwise made using port, sherry, Madeira etc. processes do NOT belong in this class.
Class G After Dinner
Wines in this class are for use after dinner, perhaps with nuts and cheese, or in place of a liqueur. Wines such as ports, sweet sherries, Madeiras, or other wines that are fortified, baked or otherwise made using port, sherry etc. type processes belong in this class. This does not however prevent a competitor from entering in this class an appropriate wine naturally fermented to high alcohol.
Class H Sparkling
There are Sparkling wines made that are appropriate for all occasions. They can be drunk alone, or with virtually any food. Wines sparkled by the Champagne method have an unmistakable yeasty flavour which adds to their complexity. Those that have been carbonated tend to exhibit fruitier characteristics. Sediment is unacceptable.
Class I Social Wine
A Social wine should be enjoyable without the accompaniment of food. Colour can fall into a wide range but it should be inviting. The wine should have an inviting fruity aroma. The wine should be neither dry nor excessively sweet. It should not be noticeably high in alcohol. In many types of wine a peak or peaks appear in the flavour spectrum – for example a White Table wine might have an acid peak; in the Aperitif class, a bitter peak is not out of place. There should be no such peaks in a Social wine. Good balance between sugar and acid is essential. A touch of “spritz” is permissible. This is a patio wine not a table wine and may be served alone or with light style foods (snacks).
Class J Country Wine
A country wine is any wine made from at least 95% non-grape ingredients. Some country wines are intentionally made in a style closely matching the description of one of the “functional” grape classes: A (Aperitif Sherry), B (Aperitif), F (Dessert), G (After Dinner), or H (Sparkling) and must be entered in those classes. Others may fit the definitions of classes E6 (Other Dry Red), D (Rosé), C4 (Other Dry White), or I (Social) and may be entered there or in Class J1 (Country Table) or J2 (Country Social), whichever seems most appropriate. The Country Wine Classes J1 and J2 are intended for those country wines which depend heavily on their non-grape origins for their interest and character and have been made in a functionally table or functionally social style. Still meads and melomels are appropriate for this class.
Class K Vancouver Island Dry Red
Table wines made from grapes grown on Vancouver Island
Class L Vancouver Island Dry White
Table wines made from grapes grown on Vancouver Island
Class S1. Dry Red Grape Kit
A dry red table wine whose grape ingredients (juice, concentrate, skins) are only those contained in the kit or kits as purchased. Grapes, skins, must, concentrate, juice, wine or fresh or dried plant materials from any other source are not allowed. Winemaking techniques (e.g., barrel fermentation, barrel aging, blends of the same product made with different yeasts, and blends of different products) and the addition of adjuncts (e.g., oak chips, oenological tannins, enzymes, and yeast derivatives) are encouraged. Entries must have been made entirely at home. Specific Gravity should not exceed 0.998.
Class S2. Dry White Grape Kit
A dry white table wine whose grape ingredients (juice, concentrate, skins) are only those contained in the kit or kits as purchased. Grapes, skins, must, concentrate, juice, wine or fresh or dried plant materials from any other source are not allowed. Winemaking techniques (e.g., barrel fermentation, blends of the same product made with different yeasts, and blends of different products) and the addition of adjuncts (e.g., oak chips, oenological tannins, enzymes, and yeast derivatives) are encouraged. Entries must have been made entirely at home. Specific Gravity should not exceed 0.998.
Class M Light Beer
Class N Hop-focused Beer
Class O Malt-focused Beer
Class P Roast and Smoked Beer
Class Q Belgian-style Wheat Beer
Class R Sparkling Cider
A sparkling beverage of 6 to10% alcohol content, dry to medium sweetness, low to medium acidity, made from either or both apple juice (Cider), or pear juice (Perry) or from some combination of one or both of those juices with other fruit (non-grape) juice. The other juice must be less than 50% of the blend and the flavour of the other fruit should not dominate. The difficult-to-define, zesty character of traditional cider must be present and will be a direct reflection of the cidermaker’s skill in selecting ingredients. Any form of carbonation acceptable in the Sparkling Class is also acceptable in the Sparkling Cider Class. Sparkle should be controlled and prolonged. Fine champagne-like bubbles trailing from the bottom of the glass are preferred. Cider may be disgorged or presented on the priming yeast. In the latter case the cider must pour clear to within 3 cm of the bottom of the bottle.