Entry submission processing and storage occurs in a climate-controlled facility, ensuring all entries arrive to judges in the best possible condition.

For more information on entry submission and processing, please see Path of an Entry showing the care taken with the entries.

The TEXSOM Awards judging is conducted by panels of

four qualified tasters, chosen from the most-experienced

and well-trained palates in the wine and beverage industry.

  • Each panel includes a trained Panel Director from the TEXSOM Awards team to facilitate the judging flow and record-keeping.
  • In addition, one judge on each panel is designated as the Panel Chair, acting as liaison with the Panel Director and maintaining records.
  • Each judging panel is assembled with a mix of disciplines including judges with specialist skills and those with a global perspective so that multiple viewpoints will be considered in the evaluation of the entries submitted.
  • The invited judges are experts in the fields of wine and spirit tasting and evaluation, including Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, Certified Wine Educators, enologists, wine and spirits writers, professors, beverage directors and sommeliers, buyers for on-and-off-premise retailers, and other influencers within the wine and beverage industries.

Medals are awarded on a merit basis by a majority vote amongst the panel judges.

  • If there is a significant difference amongst the judges’ votes, panelists are encouraged to reach a consensus.
  • Judges are asked to evaluate the entries in silence until all panel members have finished their evaluation.
  • Judge votes are recorded by the Panel Director and approved by the Panel Chair.

The judges are instructed to grant no awards when, in their opinion, the entries do not meet the criteria for award.

Wines are categorized for judging by country or state, category type,

(Varietal Red, Sparkling, White Traditional Method or Fortified Red Blend),

appellation, then wine type (Cabernet Sauvignon, Brut or Vintage Port).

  • The tasting order of entries after categorization is set in the following order: 1) panel; 2) category; 3) residual sugar; and 4) alcohol.
  • Large categories are randomly split by the database so that no panel is asked to taste more than 60 wines in the same category.
  • When there are fewer than three entries per category, the wines may be moved to another appropriate category in order to offer the best opportunity to the entries.
  • Any placement in, or removal from, a category will be at the discretion of the judging chairman.
  • Judging by vintage, price, region, etc. will be at the discretion of the judging chairman.
  • Residual sugar must be listed in grams/liter.

Wines entered in categories defined by residual sugar must list the residual sugar on the entry form.

If the judges are faced with an obviously flawed bottle

no more than one additional bottle of the same entry will be opened and tasted.

All judging is conducted as a blind tasting.

  • Entries are presented to judges in coded glasses with a random number identifier corresponding to the judges' paperwork.
  • Judges are given the category name, official appellation, grape type or blend, and vintage in order to accurately assess each wine.
  • No bottles are visible to judges at any time until the entire competition is completed.
  • Staff members are instructed to avoid discussing ANY wine and spirit brand names whether or not entered into the competition.
  • Following the competition, judges receive a copy of the code sheets of the wines and spirits they judged with awards noted so they are able to compare competition records with their notes from the judging.

The decision of the judges is final and no changes are made to awards once the judging panel has completed judging.

more about the awards