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As the UK’s only on-trade wine competition, the Sommelier Wine Awards is a wine competition unlike any other. Held in such high esteem by wine people and hospitality folk, SWA focuses its efforts entirely on wines aimed at the on-trade. Wines with general distribution on the high street are not permitted to enter, and are often covered by the equally prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine and Spirits Challenge. Since its establishment in 2007 (with Christopher as one of the inaugural judges), the competition has grown to become a point of reference for all the UK's on-trade wine buyers, as well as the main competition for wines trying to increase their presence in hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants across the world. As a key member of the senior judging team overseeing the competition’s operations, integrity and smooth process, Christopher now fulfils the unique roles of team leader ‘go-between’, troubleshooter and the final gold, silver & bronze adjudicators alongside Christine Parkinson and Chris Losh. Keeping abreast on all of the wines that are put forward by the tasting teams for places on the gold list, Christopher further assists in supporting other special category awards. Thirty gold-listed wines are judged in a taste-off round featuring 12 key restaurant dishes, with the winners picking up the coveted Food Match awards. In 2019, Cooper additionally assisted by providing engaging copywriting support for the SWA publication; and in 2020, Christopher supported the competition in its digital crossover, in partnership with Danish tech company, Notable; beautifully art directed by Sparrow Creative Solutions across all platforms. client sommelier wine awards (william reed media) sector publishing discipline judging | leadership | writing
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