Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


1. What is the connection between these awards and the Canadian Wine Awards?


The Canadian Wine Awards were founded in 2001 by Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason and were held annually until August 2012. That competition was presented by Wine Access Magazine until it ceased publication early in 2013.  The National Wine Awards of Canada, also founded by Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason, keeps the spirit alive and is held annually with a judging panel drawn from across the country; most judges have a long history with CWA.  The National Wine Awards of Canada is now presented by WineAlign, Canada’s most read source of wine information.


2.  Where can I get help in registering wines?


If you need assistance registering your wines, please email [email protected].2014-02-25_20-27-20

3.  Why are my registered wines still appearing in red even after I shipped them?


Please don’t worry if the wines you registered, paid for and shipped are still appearing in red text on the registration site. They will only turn green a day or two before judging starts when we physically unpack the wines at the judging site and place them in their correct flight.


4. What is a ‘Virtual’ Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal?


With over 1.5 million unique visitors a year and growing WineAlign is in a unique position to present and re-present medal winning wines every time someone looks it up on-line. We know that NWAC stickers will be effective on bottles inside retail wine stores, so we thought why not present the same information alongside our reviews by using virtual medal stickers on WineAlign.  All medal winning wines will have their NWAC status displayed alongside their notes each time they appear in a WineAlign search result. That is a lot of on-going coverage.

Below are examples showing how virtual medal wines would be displayed on WineAlign.

On the wine’s page:

In Targeted Ads:

In the Find Wine feature:

5. What can you win at NWAC?


All wines entered according to the regulations will be tasted and assessed in a first or preliminary round. Judges will use the 100-point system used by our critics at WineAlign. Based on its score, a wine will be eligible to move to a second and possibly third round to determine the best wines in the competition. Based on achieving the following scores your wines will be awarded one of the following medals.

NWAC_Platinum2014_FinalPLATINUM (Canada’s Best Wines) – Exceptional wines among those scoring 90 points or more will be awarded a Platinum medal. The top 1% scoring wines of the competition.


NWAC_GOLD2014_finalGOLD medals = 90 – 100 points


NWAC_Silver2014_finalSILVER medals = 88 – 89 points


NWAC_Bronze2014_finalBRONZE medals = 87 points



To be eligible for the ‘Winery of the Year’ award, a winery must enter a minimum of five wines. The top five scoring entries will be used to determine the ‘Winery of the Year’. There is NO limit on the number of entries that any single winery may enter but you may only enter any single wine once. Using a formula that includes your scores and a multiplier that assesses the true value of each medal you win, including the platinum designation, each winery is assigned a competition performance score. The winery with the highest score will be declared the WineAlign Canadian Winery of the Year.


Three years ago, we added an award for the ‘Best Performing Small Winery’, which will be given out to the top scoring winery producing 10,000 cases of wine a year or less. If you’d like to be eligible for this award, please ensure you have updated your winery’s annual production amount when you register your wines.



Due to the increasing numbers of ciders entered into the awards, we have added a Best Cider of the Year award which will be given out to the highest scoring cider at the awards (not including iced cider).



While there can be only one Canadian Winery of the Year, we will release our list of Canada’s top 25 wineries of the year, including their top rated wines.  That will go a long way to placing your winery and wines in a national context that makes sense to wine buyers.

6.  Can I enter the same wine I entered last year?

As long as the wine is still considered a current vintage, bears a vintage date of 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017, and is still available for sale commercially, it can be entered, even if it was entered last year.

Please go to Rules for Entry for more information on wine qualifications.



7. Which category should my wine compete in?


At WineAlign we are highly focused on the consumer when he or she is shopping. That means that what is on the front label on your bottle goes a long way in determining which category you should place your entry. If you are entering any of the major single varietals such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, riesling, cabernet franc, etc., simply choose the corresponding varietal name from the drop down list and you are done. If you cannot find your single varietal listed, place your entry under White Single Varietals – All Others or Red Single Varietals – All Others and we will ensure it is placed in a proper category prior to being tasted. If your wine is a blend, be it red or white, again look for that designation White Blends or Red Blends on the drop down. Just be sure to let us know the breakdown of the grapes in the wine its and their associated percentages. We also break down other specialty categories based on entries so simply enter your wines under Rosé or Sparkling or Icewine, Fruit Wine and Late Harvest and we will do the rest for you.


NWAC Categories for 2018

(as seen in the drop down list):

•               Cabernet Franc
•               Cabernet Sauvignon
•               Chardonnay
•               Cider – Iced
•               Cider – Sparkling – Dry
•               Cider – Sparkling – Sweet
•               Cider – spiced/flavoured/experimental
•               Cider – Still – Dry
•               Cider – Still – Sweet
•               Cider – with other fruit including Perry
•               Fortified
•               Fruit Wine
•               Fruit Wine – Sparkling
•               Gamay
•               Gewürztraminer
•               Grenache/Garnacha
•               Icewine
•               Late Harvest > 19 gms/ litre RS
•               Malbec
•               Mead & Other Non-Fruit Based Wines
•               Merlot
•               Pinot Blanc
•               Pinot Gris/Grigio
•               Pinot Noir
•               Red Blends
•               Red Single Varietals – All Others
•               Riesling
•               Rosé – All Varieties
•               Sauvignon Blanc
•               Skin fermented whites/Orange wines
•               Sparkling – All Types
•               Syrah/Shiraz
•               Tempranillo
•               Tidal Bay
•               Viognier
•               White Blends
•               White Single Varietals – All Others
•               Zinfandel

Questions or comments?  Contact us:  [email protected]