Wynn Hosts World's Biggest Chinese Wine Competition of International Standard with "Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards"

  • 06-MAR-2024

A panel of 27 globally acclaimed wine judges gather in Macau to determine the greatest wines of modern China with the winners announced on April 13

Macau, March 6, 2024 Supported by Macao Government Tourism Office, as part of Wynn's inaugural Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards, wine enthusiasts and gastronomes descended on Macau to take part in a series of exclusive wine dinners and Masterclasses presented by some of the world's most authoritative wine experts. From March 1 – 5, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace welcomed an international panel of 27 esteemed judges, including seven Masters of Wine, to participate in the first-ever awards program dedicated to premium Chinese wines. Poised to be the world's biggest Chinese wine Competition of international standard, the winners will be announced at a much-anticipated awards ceremony at Wynn Palace on April 13.

Ms. Linda Chen, President, Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Wynn Macau, Limited said, "Wynn is honored to welcome a group of globally-acclaimed wine experts on the Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards judging panel and support us with this prestigious event. Not only will the awards provide an unprecedented opportunity to showcase premium Chinese wines on a global stage, and celebrate the excellence of the Chinese wine industry, but they also reinforce Macau's position as a UNESCO-designated 'Creative City of Gastronomy'."

Mr. Cheng Wai Tong, Deputy Director of Macao Government Tourism Office said at the event,  "The Macao Government Tourism Office is delighted to see the industry actively organizing diverse events and developing unique tourism products and services, providing travelers with a variety of experiences. Since its launch, "Wynn Signature" has consistently brought different tourism and leisure experiences to Macau. We are pleased to learn that the Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards is launching in Macau, actively promoting Macau's reputation as a 'Creative City of Gastronomy.' We are working together to leverage Macau's role as a 'World Tourism and Leisure Center' and continue to expand our visitor sources."

The Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards initiative aims to elevate Chinese winemakers onto the world stage, providing them with strategic support to enhance their presence in high-end markets. To further this goal, the award-winning wines will receive the prestigious "Wynn Signature Award" label and be invited to participate in national masterclasses, hospitality and consumer events, media tastings, and major banquets.

The 27-person panel of global wine experts assessed and ranked over 750 submissions gathered from nearly 200 China's premium wineries, all competing for the ultimate honor of claiming the Wynn Signature Best Wine of China Trophy. Winemakers are also vying for additional category trophies that showcase the breadth of major varietal expressions and regionality in China.

The prestigious panel of judges include Masters of Wines, Master Sommeliers, winemakers, educators, journalists, hoteliers, and wine buyers. The esteemed lineup includes: Eddie McDougall, Chair of Judges; Chris Ashton, Chief of Stewards and three Vice Chairs who are highly accredited Master of Wines: Fongyee Walker MW, Gus Zhu MW and Andrew Caillard MW will lead an impressive line-up of judges which include Kenichi Ohashi MW; Julien Boulard MW; Tim Triptree MW; Jane Anson (Inside Bordeaux author); Ronny Lau (Chairman, Greater China Wine Critics Association); Simon Tam (Commentator and former Christie's Head of Wine, Asia); Erin Larkin (Wine Advocate Editor); Reeze Choi (World No. 3 Sommelier); Xiao Pi (China's leading Wine KOL); David Xing (China's leading Wine KOL), Della Tang (Best Sommelier of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2023), Janet Wang (The Chinese Wine Renaissance author) and many more.

In addition to judging duties, the distinguished experts also served as hosts for a series of exclusive events at Wynn Palace and Wynn Macau. On March 2, Xiao Pi, one of China's most knowledgeable wine KOLs, presented a Masterclass titled, "Surprising the World with the Fine Wines of China". He later introduced guests to a selection of premium wines from China's Ningxia region during the Ningxia Wine Dinner. At Wynn Palace's Lakeview Palace, Julien Boulard, a Master of Wine, guided diners on a gastronomic journey through a Spring Blossoms Dinner, a Chinese wine pairing experience with Jiangnan dishes.

David Xing Wei, one of China's most respected wine KOLs, educated guests on "The Trends of Chinese Wine", while Janet Wang, renowned author of The Chinese Wine Renaissance, inspired oenophiles with her Masterclass, titled "Journey to the West: Chinese Wine's Global Footprint, Impact & Potential."

Three Chinese Wine Masters, namely Fongyee Walker MW, Gus Zhu MW and Julien Boulard MW, brought their combined expertise to Chef Tam's Seasons at Wynn Palace, to host an exclusive Chinese Wine Dinner for guests on March 3.

Rounding out the comprehensive program on March 4, Jane Anson, widely recognized as the world's most accomplished Bordeaux expert and author of Inside Bordeaux, hosted a Masterclass titled, "Inside Bordeaux 2014 Vintage: 10 Years On." She later partnered with wine critic Janet Wang to co-host a Chinese and Bordeaux Wine Dinner at SW Steakhouse, Wynn Palace.

About the Wynn Signature Chinese Wine Awards

Wynn will ensure the competition adopts an authoritative and professional Chinese wine evaluation system, establishing an unparalleled international exchange event for participating wines.

In keeping with international judging protocols, the wine tastings were conducted blind, and wines were appraised according to the time-honored 100-point system. Medals will be awarded to wines based on a tiered scoring system. To ensure the integrity and authenticity of the voting process, Wynn appointed a professional external auditing firm to assess the accuracy of the judges' scores and conduct random background inspections of the wineries in competition. 

The aim of these awards is to elevate the global recognition of Chinese wines and enhance the understanding and appreciation of Chinese wines worldwide through Wynn's rigorous commitment to quality and taste. The awards event will also strengthen partnerships with China's top wineries to promote fine wines and expand the international market, while driving the development and innovation of the Chinese wine industry.

Highlights of the Judging Panel include:

  • Andrew Caillard MW – A Master of Wine in Australia, Andrew is an author, wine critic, and producer. He is the associate producer of the Australian Academy Award winning feature documentary Red Obsession and also chairs Shanghai's Wine 100 competition
  • David Xing – One of the most influential wine KOLs in China, David is a certified lecturer in more than a dozen wine production regions. He has also created a popular online wine education and content e-commerce platform in China
  • Della Tang – One of China's most highly regarded young wine experts, Della has won numerous awards as a sommelier and mixologist including the "Best Sommelier" award from Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2023
  • Eddie McDougall – Founder of the modern-era négociant brand The Flying Winemaker. He is a notable business leader, winemaker and investor. He is also the host and producer of The Flying Winemaker television series that aired on Netflix, Discovery Channel and TLC. 
  • Fongyee Walker MW – Highly respected as a pioneer in China's wine industry, Fongyee is the first Master of Wine to reside in China and one of the country's most qualified wine educators. She was also a significant contributor to the Red Obsession documentary
  • Gus Zhu MW – The first Chinese national Master of Wine, Gus is also a research and development scientist. He provides wine education and consulting services to global wine professionals and consumers
  • Jane Anson – The world's most informed and accomplished expert on the wines of Bordeaux, Jane is an award-winning writer and an accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin. She is also the author of Inside Bordeaux
  • Janet WangWell-known wine critic and author, Janet's award-winning book – The Chinese Wine Renaissance – was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards Wine Book 2019 (renowned as the "Oscars of the international wine industry") and winner of the 2020 Gourmand World Awards World Wine Book (UK)
  • Julien Boulard MW – A Master of Wine, Julien is an accredited educator of the Vins De Bordeaux wine school in China. His fluency in Mandarin, social media influence and knowledge of wines have made him a key professional on the Chinese wine scene
  • Kenichi Ohashi MW – A wine and sake expert based in Japan, Kenichi is influential in the trading and distribution of wine, sake and local spirits
  • Reeze Choi – In 2023, Reeze made history by becoming the first Chinese finalist in the ASI Best Sommelier of the World Competition, where he garnered third place. Today, he runs his own wine consultancy and sommelier services company
  • Ronny Lau – Chairman of the Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Writers Association, Ronny is a well-known writer who has authored six wine books. He is also renowned as an established musician, having produced two music and wine pairing CD compilations
  • Simon Tam – Former Head of Wine in Asia for Christie's, Simon is one of the most respected wine experts in Hong Kong. He now runs his own company creating wines and making wine auctions more accessible to a wider audience
  • Terry Xu – Better known throughout the wine world as 'Xiao Pi', he is one of China's most influential wine KOLs with more than 600,000 industry professional and wine enthusiast followers
  • Tim Triptree MW – As the International Director of Wine & Spirits at Christie's, his main role is in the planning, sale curating, and the execution of wine auctions. Tim is a Master of Wine and received the prestigious Noval Award for his MW Research Paper