The judging will be conducted by panels of a minimum of four qualified trade buyers. Our trade only judging panel interact with wine and their customers on a daily basis. They are a mix of restaurateurs, wine sommeliers, retail wine buyers, distributors and importers. We try to assemble each judging panel with a mix of those disciplines so different viewpoints will be considered in the evaluation of the wines. If the judges are faced with an obviously flawed bottle of wine, no more than one additional bottle of the same entry will be opened and tasted. Wines with more than 0.3% residual sugar (r.s.) must have the percent listed on the entry form. Wines entered in categories defined by r.s. must list the percent on the entry form. The tasting order of entries is set in our database first by panel, then category and finally by residual sugar. Large categories are randomly split by the database so that no panel is asked to taste more than 60 wines in the same category. The Melbourne International Wine Competition medals will be made on a merit basis by a majority vote. The judges are instructed to grant no awards when, in their opinion, the wines are not ones they would import, distribute, buy or sell in their product and price category. Judges are asked to evaluate the wines in silence until all panel members have finished their evaluation and then reach a consensus. Judge votes are recorded by a staff moderator. If there is a significant difference among the judges’ votes, panelists are encouraged to reach a consensus and or seek counsel from the Head Judge Adam Levy. Wines are presented to judges in coded glasses. No wine bottles are visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. Staff members are instructed to avoid discussing any wine brand names entered or not in the competition. The decision of the judges is final and no changes are made to awards after the judging is complete. Judges receive a copy of the code sheets of the wines they judged with awards noted so they are able to compare our records with their notes from the judging.