June 17, 2013 12:46 ET

1,100 Wines From Across the Country Compete in the National Wine Awards of Canada

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 17, 2013) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwire.

From the heart of Wine Country Ontario, 17 Canadian wine experts will blind taste and judge 1,100 wines from across the country at the first annual National Wine Awards of Canada (#NWAC13 on Twitter). Judging for the competition - which is hosted by WineAlign, Canada's largest online wine site - is exhaustive and will take place over five days through June 21 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Wines from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia will be assessed using the same 100-point system employed at WineAlign.

"The National Wine Awards of Canada brings together the largest number of Canadian wines and Canadian wine critics under one roof," says Anthony Gismondi, co-head judge and WineAlign principal critic. "The competition presents an annual snapshot of the state of Canadian wine. The results are an invaluable guide for consumers and producers when it comes to finding out who is making the best wine in the country."

Judging Panel

The panel of judges consists of respected Canadian wine critics, writers, educators and judges from six provinces, known for their extensive experience tasting wines both on the international stage and across the country. Judging is overseen by co-head judges and WineAlign principal critics, Anthony Gismondi - Vancouver (WineAlign, Vancouver Sun) and David Lawrason - Toronto (WineAlign, Toronto Life, Ottawa Magazine).

Judges include John Szabo - Toronto Master Sommelier (WineAlign, City Bites); Margaret Swaine - Toronto (WineAlign, National Post, Gault Millau); Bill Zacharkiw - Montreal (WineAlign, Montreal Gazette); Steve Thurlow - Toronto (WineAlign, Wine for Life); Sara d'Amato - Toronto (WineAlign); Janet Dorozynski - Ottawa (WineAlign, Global Practice Lead - Canadian Wine at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada); Nadia Fournier - Montreal (Le Guide du Vin Montreal, L'actualité); Rémy Charest - Quebec City (Palate Press, The Wine Case); Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson - Winnipeg (Winnipeg Free Press); DJ Kearney - Vancouver (Vancouver Magazine, Educator - Wine and Spirits Education Trust); Treve Ring (EAT Magazine); Rhys Pender MW - Cawston (Wine Plus+); Craig Pinhey (CBC Radio, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal); Tom Firth (Cowtown Wine, City Palate Magazine, Avenue Calgary); Gurvinder Bhatia (Edmonton Journal); and, Jessica Bryans - Vancouver (Beverage Purchasing Manager for the Joey Restaurant Group).

All medal winners will be notified within a few weeks of the awards. The Rosé results will be released in August as a prelude to the early September announcement of all medals and the Canadian Winery of the Year.

Those interested in the National Wine Awards of Canada can follow the judges, see their reactions to all the wines, and gain insights into the week's activities via the #NWAC13 hashtag on Twitter and on


Sponsors and partners in this year's National Wine Awards of Canada include Host Partner Wine Country Ontario, an organization dedicated to promoting Ontario's wine-growing region; Hilton Garden Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake, providers of accommodation for the judging team; ContainerWorld Forwarding Services Inc. and Borderline Systems, providers of logistics services; Fortessa Canada, Inc., providers of Schott Zwiesel stemware used during judging; and, photographer Jason Dziver.

Notes to Editors:

  • Contact to coordinate an interview with Anthony Gismondi.
  • A photo for this press release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.
  • Additional award photos are available on Dropbox (click here for the link or visit with new photos being released throughout the week.

About WineAlign

WineAlign is a free community-based service that enables consumers to review, share and discover wine. Launched in December 2008 in collaboration with several top wine critics, WineAlign is a rapidly growing resource that serves the needs of over 1.1 million unique annual visitors looking to find the best wines at the LCBO and BCLDB. WineAlign answers the question, "What wine do I buy?" It combines reviews from top-critics and community members to create an objective resource to help users find great wine. For wine lovers outside of Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, WineAlign provides the most comprehensive wine resource, including reviews of the latest wines and vintages from some of the country's top sommeliers and wine critics. WineAlign is on Facebook at and on Twitter @WineAlign.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

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