Cuisine Wine

How Cuisine wine tastings work

Cuisine wine tastings are conducted in accordance with a strict and consistent procedure and judges by an esteemed judging panel.


Wines entered are arranged in tasting flights by Cuisine’s backroom staff led by wine-show judge Shona White.

All wines are tasted blind by the judges, consisting of wine panel chair John Belsham and two other panellists, including one specialist winemaker in the chosen variety.

Top-scoring wines are retasted and discussed in depth (before the labels are revealed) to establish the order of the Top 5/Top10 (according to the number of eligible wines) in each tasting.

The scores of winemaker judges for their own wines cannot exceed those of other judges.

Cuisine reserves the right to audit wines entered in its tastings with those on retail shelves through scientific analysis.


Cuisine Wine Panel

The Cuisine wine panel consists of three senior wine judges and an associate judge (non-scoring). The panel chair is winemaker John Belsham, a highly respected international judge, owner of Foxes Island Wines in Marlborough and a wine consultant to Air New Zealand. Australian wine authority Ralph Kyte-Powell joins the panel to judge and write up Australian Shiraz, Champagne and international sparkling wines. Associate judge John Saker is Cuisine’s New Zealand wine writer.