Winepilot launches new ‘Shootout’ wine show

Image: Angus Hughson, Winepilot founder

Winepilot has added a new wine show format to the Australian wine calendar with the development of the Wine Shootout – a single day, invitation-only wine show bringing together a handpicked selection of the best wines from around the country from a single category or grape variety.

Winepilot has developed its ‘Shootout’ concept as a modern take on the traditional wine show.

“In many wine shows, judges are tasting over 100 wines in a single day. We feel smaller shows give better results so we have developed our Wine Shootouts, with less than fifty wines judged in a single day so every wine is given its best opportunity to shine,” said Winepliot founder Angus Hughson.

Wine Shootouts will involve three rounds with all entries scored in the First Round. The Top 12 will then go on to the Semi-Final, before a Grand Final for the Top Four wines.

A key focus on judges at the Wine Shootouts is drinkability and identifying the best wines with wide appeal for the wine drinking public at large.

“We have purposefully brought together experienced judges from fine dining, retail and wine education to help us identify not only the best wines but also those that are most relevant to the wine consumer,” said Hughson.

“In addition, trophies will be awarded for the Best Wine of Show and the Best Value Wine of Show.”

Winepilot has chosen to focus on Grenache for the inaugural Shootout, including both single varietals and Grenache-dominant blends.


“The most exciting grape variety in Australia right now is Grenache and we are excited to taste through wines from around the country to uncover the country’s best, from Preservative Free and Natural Wines through to regional classics,” said Hughson.

The Grenache Shootout show will be chaired by seasoned show judge Mike DeGaris with other judges chosen only from Sydney due to COVID travel restrictions.

These include top current and former sommeliers (Simon Curkovic, Melissa Moore and Matt Dunne), ALDI wine director Jason Bowyer and leading educator Andrea Pritzker MW.

The Grenache Shootout will be held at Wine-Ark in Sydney on Thursday October 22 with results announced the following week.

Key Dates:

  • Judging ‘Shootout’: 22 October 2020
  • Results announced: 27 October 2020

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