The Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA) has partnered with Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI) of Chicago to provide professional blind tastings to rate and rank New Jersey produced wines for the revised NJ Wine Competition.

The Competition, the only NJ wine competition recognized and sanctioned by the GSWGA, will be conducted at BTI’s Chicago tasting facility from March 2018 through July 2018 by professional BTI wine tasting panels. Winery participation is optional and the participating wineries are responsible to pay the entry fees for the Competition.

The wines will be ranked on a 100 point scale. We will have platinum, gold, silver and bronze medals that correspond to the 100 point scores in addition to the “best of category” winner for each category and one “Governor’s Cup” winner which is the equivalent of “best of show.”

The NJ Wine Competition will have the following categories and corresponding ‘Best of’ awards:

Vinifera Red

Vinifera White

Hybrid Red

Hybrid White

Fortified (Port)



Sweet/Dessert (R.S. ≥5%)

Best of Show Award: Governor’s Cup

An announcement of the “best of show” category winners will be made in the fall at a Statehouse event. In addition, a separate paid tasting event (details to be announced) will be held for the public where New Jersey wine lovers can sample the highest ranking wines and “Best of Show” winners.

The NJ Wine Competition has previously been run on behalf of the GSWGA by Dr. Gary Pavlis of Rutgers. Dr. Pavlis will continue to be involved in the new Competition serving as a Quality Control consultant to the GSWGA and Master of Ceremonies for the planned public event.

There will be two wine entry options and fees associated with the NJ Wine Competition. Only one option may be selected for each wine entered. The wineries will have to use the bespoke New Jersey Wine Competition entry form (see below) to enter their wines. The form would capture one of two registration options, the category entered, the varietal composition, vintage and other pertinent details for the evaluation.

Click here to download the 2018 application