This competition was launched in 2013 to help identify the very best wines, beers and spirits available in the dynamic Alberta beverage marketplace.

Beverages are judged in Calgary by some of Alberta’s finest palates including buyers, sommeliers, retailers, educators and media influencers. The competition takes place in July with results appearing online and in Culinaire Magazine’s October issue.

Prior to the judging, every product is placed into a category and assigned to a flight with like products. The entries are evaluated blind by dedicated wine, beer and spirits panels, and moderated by an experienced panel captain.

Beverages deemed superior in the preliminary rounds proceed to the final rounds where the very best are awarded a “Best in Class.” The top performing products in a category may earn a “Judges Selection.” Post-competition, the editors of Culinaire may assign a “Top Value” to a winning wine, showcasing its high performance that over-delivers on value.

Overall, only about one third of total entries will earn an award at the Alberta Beverage Awards, which ensures results are meaningful and only the best will be featured in the results. For more information, please check out our FAQ page.

Cheers,
Tom Firth
Competition Director
tom@culinairemagazine.ca

Important Dates

March 5, 2018

Registration Opens

June 29, 2018

Registration Closes

July 6, 2018

Deadline for receiving samples

July 16-18, 2018

Judging

Week of August 6, 2018

Results to entrants

2018 Judges

Mary Bailey, The Tomato Food & Drink

Kirk Bodnar, Certified Cicerone, Beers ‘N Such Consulting

Matt Browman, Consultant

Margaux Burgess, Alberta Liquor Store Association

Mike Burns, Teatro Group

Darren Fabian, Alloy

Jynnifer Gibson, National Music Centre/King Eddy

Dave Gingrich, Willow Park Wines and Spirits

Nathalie Gosselin, Vine Styles

Rheannon Green, Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance

Marcia J. Hamm, Hicks Fine Wines

Fred Konopaki, Spirits West

Erin Loader, Bricks Wine Co.

Laurie MacKay, CBC Radio

Kyle McRae, Highlander Wines & Spirits

David Nutall, Various

Darren Oleksyn, Calgary Herald

John Papavacilopoulos, Oak & Vine

Mike Roberts, Co-op Wines Spirits Beer

Juanita Roos, Color of Wine

Brad Royale, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts

Bruce Soley, River Café

Peter Smolarz, Willow Park Wines & Spirits

Will Trow, Bar Von der Fels

James Werner, Hotel Arts

Submissions

Bottles will be photographed on-site, so please ensure that labels are current and in good repair.

Wine Entries | For sample purposes, we require three bottles (750 ml or equivalent volume) of wine for judging. Entries are $75 per wine  less IVSA discount, if applicable. Note: For dessert wine entries, we require only two bottles, which includes wines typically available in small formats (i.e. ice wines).

Spirits Entries | For sample purposes, we require one bottle per entry or equivalent volume of spirits for judging. Entries are $75 per entry  less IVSA discount, if applicable.

Beer Entries | For sample purposes, we require one six-pack or equivalent volume of beer for judging. Entries are $50 per entry  less IVSA discount, if applicable.

Additionally, a 10 per cent discount will be offered for the submission of 12 or more entries (not applicable on top of IVSA discount). For more details, please contact Tom Firth at tom@culinairemagazine.ca or 403-818-5304.

For payment, please contact Linda Garson at linda@culinairemagazine.ca or 403-870-9802 with a credit card number or for interac email payments, cheques etc. For the address and delivery instructions for your samples, please contact Tom Firth at tom@culinairemagazine.ca or 403-818-5304.

Categories

Wine Submissions
Entries are sorted into flights of comparable products and the final list of possible categories will reflect actual entries. Questions regarding categories can be directed to the Competition Director.

Planned Categories Include | Bordeaux Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Grenache/Garnacha, Italian Red Blends, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Red Blends Other, Red Hybrids, Sangiovese, Single Varietals – Red, Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Aromatic White Varietals, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Moscato, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Single Varietals – White, White Blends Other, White Hybrids, Champagne and Sparkling Wine, Rosé, Dessert Wine, Fortified Wine, Late Harvest Wine, Icewine, Fruit Wines and Mead

Spirits Submissions
Entries are sorted into flights of comparable products and the final list of possible categories will reflect actual entries. Questions regarding categories can be directed to the Competition Director.

Planned Categories Include | American Whiskey (excluding Rye), Brandy, Canadian Whisky, Cognac, Cream-based Liqueurs, Eau de Vie – All Types, Gin, Irish Whiskey, Liqueurs, Rum-White, Rum-Dark, Rum-Spiced, Rye, Sake, Schnapps, Scotch Whisky (excluding Single Malt), Single Malt Scotch, Tequila – All Types, Vodka (Flavoured), Vodka (Non-Flavoured), Other

Beer Submissions
Entries are sorted into flights of comparable products and the final list of possible categories will reflect actual entries. Questions regarding categories can be directed to the Competition Director.

Planned Categories Include | Ale, Cask Aged Beers, Fruit Beers – All types, Gluten-Free Beer, Hybrid, IPA, Lager, Pilsner, Stout, Wheat Beer, Sake and Rice Wine, Other