2018 Judges

Our judging panels are comprised of some of Canada’s leading wine writers, journalists, sommeliers, buyers and industry professionals. We also like to seek out new and emerging talent in the industry to be part of the judging team. The blend of experience and enthusiasm, brought by judges from many regions across Canada, ensures a comprehensive view of the wine world’s most current state.

This year, we are very excited to have two international judges join us: Dr. Jamie Goode from the UK and Christian Zhang from Shanghai, China.

For the fifth year in a row, we are pleased to announce that acclaimed UK wine journalist Dr. Jamie Goode will be joining our panel of judges in Penticton, BC. And, Christian Zhang, from Shanghai, will be making his debut as a judge at the 2018 Nationals. Christian is a talented young sommelier who has won several accolades and awards in the last few years, and was recently named the 1st Canadian Wine Sommelier Champion of Greater China.

You can follow the 2018 NWAC and our judges’ tweets from start to finish on Twitter @WineAlign and look for the hashtag #NWAC18.

Our Judging Process 

The judging is overseen by WineAlign principal critics and partners Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason.

All competition wines are blind-tasted and judged in categories according to varietal or style, not by region, using the same 100-point system as used on WineAlign.

Each wine earning the requisite points will get a medal.

Wines with the top scores in the entire awards will be awarded a Platinum medal (approximately 1% of the total entries). Gold medals = 90 – 100 points Silver medals = 88 – 89 points Bronze medals = 87 points

The 2018 Judges (in alphabetical order)

Co-Head Judges David Lawrason and Anthony Gismondi

Michelle Bouffard
British Columbia
Radio Canada, Equis Magazine, Véro Magazine, CAPS-BC President, Author (Dis-moi qui tu es, je te dirai quoi boire)
Follow on Twitter @michellebwine
Follow on Instagram @michellebouffard

Rémy Charest
WineAlign, Chacun son Vin, Le Devoir, Wine Enthusiast, EnRoute, Châtelaine, Palate Press, Quebecor/Sun Media newspapers
Follow on Twitter @RemyCharest
Follow on Instagram @remycharest

Sara d’Amato
WineAlign, Chatelaine
Follow on Twitter @SaradAmato
Follow on Instagram @saradamatokilley

Dr. Janet Dorozynski
Follow on Twitter @WineTrackMind
Follow on Instagram @winetrackmind

Nadia Fournier
WineAlign, Chacun son Vin, Guide du Vin, L’actualité
Follow on Twitter @NadiaFournier
Follow on Instagram @nadia_fournier

Anthony Gismondi
British Columbia
Head Judge
WineAlign, Vancouver Sun, Gismondi on Wine
Follow on Twitter @TheSpitter
Follow on Instagram @anthony.gismondi

Michael Godel
WineAlign, godello.com, Wine Director at Barque Smokehouse
Follow on Twitter @mgodello
Follow on Instagram @mgodello

Dr. Jamie Goode
United Kingdom
Author, The Sunday Express, wineanorak.com
Follow on Twitter @JamieGoode
Follow on Instagram @drjamiegoode

DJ Kearney
British Columbia
Wine and Spirits Education Trust, New District
Follow on Twitter @djwines
Follow on Instagram @djwines

David Lawrason
Head Judge
WineAlign, Toronto Life, Ottawa Magazine
Follow on Twitter @DavidLawrason
Follow on Instagram @davidlawrason

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Winnipeg Free Press
Follow on Twitter @bensigurdson
Follow on Instagram @bensigurdson

Alanna McIntyre
Bishop’s Cellar
Follow on Instagram @alanna.mcintyre

Sharon McLean
British Columbia
Instructor, judge,
Follow on Twitter @urban_vines
Follow on Instagram @sharon_a_mc

Brent Muller
Vessel Wine Shop
Follow on Instagram @brent.muller

Rhys Pender, MW
British Columbia
Wine Plus+
Follow on Twitter @WinePlus
Follow on Instagram @rhyspendermw

Craig Pinhey
New Brunswick
New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, Quench Online, Co-Author (Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada)
Follow on Twitter @frogspadca
Follow on Instagram @brufrog

Heather Rankin
Nova Scotia
Obladee Wine Bar
Follow on Twitter @curlyluddite
Follow on Instagram @curlyluddite

Treve Ring
British Columbia
WineAlign, Gismondi On Wine, Meininger’s Wine Business, SIP Northwest, Scout, Quench, World of Fine Wine, Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast
Follow on Twitter @Treve_Ring
Follow on Instagram @trevering

Brad Royale
Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts
Follow on Twitter @BradRoyale
Follow on Instagram @bradroyale

John Szabo, MS
WineAlign, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Author (Pairing Food and Wine for Dummies, Volcanic Wines, Salt, Grit and Power), www.johnszabo.com
Follow on Twitter @JohnSzabo
Follow on Instagram @johnszaboms

Bill Zacharkiw
WineAlign, Chacun son Vin, Montreal Gazette, CHOM FM
Follow on Twitter @BillZacharkiw
Follow on Instagram @billzacharkiw

Christian Zhang
Shanghai, China
Chief Sommelier of Noah’s Yacht Club On the Bund, Shanghai

Apprentice Judges

Alexandra Anderson
British Columbia
BC Wine Institute, Nightingale Restaurant
Follow on Instagram @wine.with.alexx

Christina Hartigan
British Columbia
Botanist Restaurant
Follow on Instagram @christinahartigan

Questions or comments?  Contact us:  [email protected]