Headed up by Competition Manager Chris Losh, the awards feature a hand-picked panel of distinguished and experienced judges from the industry, including former senior group buyers, to ensure a robust and credible judging process.

Chris Losh Competition Manager

Chris has been writing about drinks and wine for almost 25 years. In that time, he’s edited Wine & Spirit International and Wine Magazine and was co-founder of Imbibe, which he left in the summer after 12.5 years heading up the editorial team. In his time at Imbibe he set up numerous competitions and awards, most significantly the Sommelier Wine Awards, for which he’s still chairman. He’s written numerous books – the most recent of which, ‘Where to Drink Wine’ was published in 2018. He’s been a columnist for the Just-Drinks website since 2000, and is currently writing for a wide-range of trade and consumer publications. He lives on the South Coast with his family and collection of spare livers.

Angela Mount

Angela Mount is a wine consultant, restaurant buyer, wine and food presenter, journalist and international judge. She was formerly Head of Wine Buying for Somerfield, one of the five top supermarkets in the UK, and is widely accredited for bringing, as a buyer, a no-nonsense approach to wine buying for mainstream consumers. She is best known for having her taste buds insured by her employers, for £10million, which brought her to national recognition. She now works with wine producers to develop their international strategy, helping them understand the workings and logistics of importing to the UK, whilst blending their wines to styles to suit the challenging UK market.

Anthony Rose

Anthony Rose was the wine correspondent of The Independent from start in 1986 to finish in 2016 of the print version. Since leaving The Independent, he has written two books, Sake and the Wines of Japan (Infinite Ideas, 2018 and, Fizz! Champagne and Sparkling Wines of the World (Infinite Ideas 2021).  Today he contributes to publications that include Decanter Magazine, The World of Fine Wine and the Oxford Companion to Wine and he is the Decanter World Wine Awards chair for Southern Italy. Anthony has won a number of awards and is a founding member of The Wine Gang (https://www.thewinegang.com) and is on Twitter at @anthonyrosewine. He lives in London and is a keen cook and photographer. 

Charlie Young

Charlie has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. Bitten by the wine bug in his early 20s, he pursued his love of wine through restaurants in & bars in Paris and South Australia before landing back in the UK and taking up a position with Liberty Wines. After a stint running award-winning Bennetts Wines in the Cotswolds, he launched Vinoteca Wine Bar and went on to open 7 more over the next 18 years. Charlie is currently working alongside the developer of Greenwich Peninsula, advising on all aspects of Food & Beverage.

Christine Parkinson

With a background as a Head Chef and in restaurant management, Christine created the opening wine list for Hakkasan in 2001, eventually becoming Group Head of Wine. She has won numerous awards including Wine List of the Year, Imbibe Industry Legend and a Wine & Spirit Ambassador Catey.

Clem Yates

Clem Yates MW is an independent wine consultant with over 20 years’ experience of sourcing and supplying wine to the UK off-trade. Having studied Oenology at Roseworthy in Australia and passing her Master of Wine in 2011, Clem has worked for both Tesco and Sainsburys within their sourcing and quality assurance teams. She was formerly the Sourcing and Supply Director at Off Piste Wines, one of the leading suppliers to the UK retailers and developed the Most Wanted brand including the can range. She has worked around the world with all sizes of wine producers and now works with both UK and internationally based wine companies on their wine production techniques, influencing wine style and quality, UK supply models, alternative formats, and sustainability.

Hal Wilson
Helen McGinn

Helen McGinn is an award-winning author, drinks writer and presenter. After spending a decade as a supermarket wine buyer for Tesco, she founded wine blog The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club, now a best-selling wine book. She co-chairs the International Wine Challenge, one of the world’s biggest wine competitions, and is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail’s Femail Magazine and Waitrose Food Magazine. She regularly appears on television as a wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and ITV’s This Morning and accolades include Best Online Drinks Writer at Fortnum & Mason’s inaugural Food & Drink Awards. 

Liz Coombes

Liz is one half of The Artisan Wine & Spirit Co, a nearly three year old and already award-winning independent wine merchant based in Salisbury. In its short life The AWSCo has already won the Drinks Retailing Awards "Newcomer of the Year”, was runner-up in the IWC South West Regional Wine Merchant of the Year and in 2023 won the Wine Buyers Awards independent retail category. Liz has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, which is terrifying when she thinks she’s “only” 51, and has won multiple WSET scholarships whilst holding various buying roles for the Co-op and UK importers and, before setting up Artisan, consulting for a number of mostly New Zealand wine producers to gain distribution across Europe. 

Martin Lam

Martin is a well-seasoned professional chef, restaurateur and wine taster with over 45 years experience, with almost 22 years as owner of renowned Battersea restaurant Ransome's Dock. He now works as an advisor and consultant on all matters of taste concerning the restaurant world, from wine lists to menus, staff training and beyond.

Ronan Sayburn MS Master Sommelier

Ronan is a Master Sommelier (one of only 214 in the world), previous winner of the UK Sommelier of the Year competition and twice a representative for the UK in the European Sommelier Competition. He’s also a regular judge for the Sommelier of the Year Competition and various tasting competitions (including the Decanter World Wine Awards) and an examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Formerly he worked for the Gordon Ramsay group as Executive Head Sommelier for 8 years, mainly in the 3 Michelin star Royal Hospital Road plus created the wine lists and trained wine service teams for Claridge’s, the Connaught, the Savoy, Boxwood Café, Maze and several overseas operations including Dubai, Tokyo and New York.
Other previous employers include Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Pied à Terre, wine merchant OW Loeb and the Greenhouse Restaurant (which has the UK’s largest wines list of 3,400 bins) plus the Hotel du Vin group, a boutique, 14 hotel chain which is themed around wine as the Wine and Spirit Director. More recently as the Head of Wines for the Dorchester Collection UK – 3 luxury hotels (The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park).

Sarah Abbott MW

Sarah is the founder and CEO of Swirl Wine Group, a wine business strategy and marketing company that helps wineries from emerging and underestimated terroirs tell their story and sell more wine in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. Sarah has judged at a senior level in wine competitions across the world, and joined the IWSC judging committee in 2021. She has worked in the wine trade for over 20 years. Her specialist areas are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, and emerging regions, such as Georgia, Turkey and Japan. She is a co-founder of the non-profit Old Vine Conference, which champions heritage old vines and varieties.

Simon Hill

Simon is the other half of The Artisan Wine & Spirit Company. He started at Majestic in the 90s, then took sales roles with Tanners (where Liz and Simon first met), Louis Latour, Peter Lehmann, D&D Wines and was latterly European Manager for the Wingara Wine Group. In 2009 he left the wine business, embraced his entrepreneurial flair, and started organising endurance sports events in particular setting up and directing the current incarnation of the Manchester Marathon. After selling the events business he moved to Salisbury in 2021 and caught up with old friend Liz who had also just moved to Salisbury. This is when  the Artisan Wine & Spirit Co was born and all of their joint skills were put to work to build the best small independent wine shop that they could.

Susy Atkins

Susy Atkins is a long-standing weekly wine and drinks columnist for the Telegraph; she is also wine editor for Delicious magazine and a freelance writer and presenter. The author of 11 books on wine and drinks, and for 12 years a regular wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, Susy has won several awards for her work including Lanson, Glenfiddich and Louis Roederer writing awards and IWSC Communicator of the Year.