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National Tasting Project

2021 Instructions | 2020 Results

Compare scores with hundreds of AWS wine friends

The annual American Wine Society National Tasting Project unites AWS members across the country for a themed educational wine tasting. The NTP committee chooses a different theme each year and selects several wines that exemplify different styles within that theme. The committee provides educational materials via an in-depth PowerPoint presentation. It’s a ready-made tasting event!

Members, through a chapter or on their own, hold a blind tasting between January and October to sample and score the wines. They submit their results and then see how their scores compare to other AWS chapters/members.



Industry professionals interested in proposing a theme, or anyone with questions about the program should contact: Sharyn Kervyn, NTP Chair

We presented the 2020 NTP in two virtual tastings in September and October. You can share them with your chapter, taste the wines and submit your scores. Part 1 of the NTP and Part 2 are available on the American Wine Society YouTube Now page.

You can access the slides and script for Part 1 and the slides and script for Part 2.

Check out 2020 NTP results by chapter, or the national summary using the link above.


National Tasting Project 2021

Thank you for your interest in
Hosting the National Tasting Project 2021

It was a bygone era…when romance and discovery were deep-rooted in civilization. A time when marsh, mountain and sea infused to give way to limestone mineral terrain, uncovering antediluvian wines in the amphorae unearthed. It is in these sun-drenched Mediterranean lands we are immersed, discovering the winemaking secrets, traditions and indigenous grapes inspiring this Culture to continue and thrive.

Welcome to the Wines of Ancient Illyria

The National Tasting Project 2021 is a study of the Croatian and Bosnian Wine regions, ancient winemaking practices and the indigenous varieties grown there. The in-depth PowerPoint includes notes for the presenter and is designed to customize based on the level of information you wish to include. The wines are organized to be a mix of the countries or divided into two tastings, one for each region. This year we have partnered with Wines of Illyria and have selected 12 wines for the tasting from their diverse portfolio. The average price for 1 bottle each of all 12 wines would run around $340, plus shipping.

Please meet with your Chapter Chair to coordinate these tastings and select which wines to feature. The tastings are normally designed to be tasted blind, but this year since the varieties are not common to most people, we suggest just revealing the prices after the scores have been tallied. The PowerPoint will have a reveal at the end with the prices. Wines should be purchased by the end of May and the reporting form is due by October 4th at the latest to be included in the final report.

Your Chapter Chair will be given a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation (which is best on a laptop/monitor or can be printed out) and an Excel Master Packet. The Excel packet will have everything you need: instructions, wines, ordering information, reporting form and survey. This information will be sent to the Chapter Chairs in late January 2021. If you did not receive your copy by the beginning of February, please contact AWS Executive Director to resend.

2021 NTP Committee Members: Dave Barber, Joe Broski, Joanne Degaglia, Eric Feldhake, Danny Klein, Sharon Levine, Larry Levine, Roger Oliva, Semerita Oliva, Gary Pavlis, Walt Rachele, Diane Rone, Adrienne Turner, Bob Turner, Pat Valas and Khadija Woods

For questions about the program, contact:
Sharyn Kervyn, NTP Chair

PowerPoint: Melissa Bartlett

Reporting Form: Chris McCutcheon

How to Conduct a Blind Tasting (optional)

The PowerPoint is to be used in conjunction with this tasting. You may print out copies of the presentation if you are not using a computer. Blind is optional. If you choose to do the tasting blind, do not give out the specification sheets until after the scores are tallied.

Blind Tasting Preparation

Do not reveal the wines to the participants before the tasting.

Supplies Needed
  • Paper bags long enough to cover the bottles
  • Water Pitchers
  • Tape
  • Marking pen
  • Corkscrew
  • Shot Pours (optional)
  • Pencils or pens
  • Scoring Sheets (included with power point or printed presentations)
  • Wine Placemats (you can number flights on the mats, optional)
  • Dump Buckets
  • Plastic Cups (2 per person 1 for water, 1 for spitting)
  • Wine glasses (there are 12 wines; number of glasses depends how many wines chosen for the tasting. The more glasses the better, but 2 would be a suggested minimum per person). During the tasting, if you only have 2 glasses per person, have everyone try the first wine, then dump and turn the first glass upside down to ‘drain’ while tasting the second glass. No need to rinse with water unless you prefer (rinsing with wine is usually better, but to save $ better to drip this way and pour the next wine, etc.) Continue until all wines are scored.
All members, and particularly those who are new to scoring, are encouraged to watch this video on using the AWS scoring sheet.

  1. The wines should be in the order matching the “list of wines” section in the Excel Packet. If you change the order the presentation will not flow correctly. Delete the spec sheet slides for the wines you are not including in your tasting from the PowerPoint.
  2. Remove the capsules from the bottles completely.
  3. Number the bags, keeping track of which wine is in each bag number.
  4. One to two hours before the tasting, open the wines to allow them to breathe. Hide the corks or screw caps. The whites should have already been chilled, bag and put back in refrigerator to keep cold.
  5. Place each bottle in the proper numbered paper bag to correspond with your list and tape the bag shut near the top so the wine cannot be identified.
  6. Review the tasting instructions, background material, power point and/or printed material and reporting information before the tasting.
  7. Each participant should use an AWS evaluation chart to write down their ratings. If someone has concerns about how to score, please review with them beforehand. You can also ask them to review Aaron’s “how to score” video on the AWS website.
  8. If someone is an AWS Graduate (Certified) Wine Judge (CWJ), he/she needs to mark CWJ in the upper corner of the scoring sheet. It is important for proper analysis that judge status is identified.
  9. Prior to the formal tasting, or during the social period, educate the participants with the background information provided or your own research on the Regions and Wines.
  10. Begin the Power Point Presentation and taste the wines along with the presentation. The wines are revealed after their area slides are presented. The prices are at the end of the presentation.
  11. Ask volunteers to help pour the wines. Allow a few minutes for everyone to taste, score and write comments before proceeding to the next flight of wines. Remember to allow time for evaluation. Continue until all wines have been poured and sampled. You can also do this during the PowerPoint presentation.
  12. We highly recommend the scoring be conducted with no discussion until after the reveal so each participant can form unbiased evaluations.
  13. When the tasting is finished, collect all the scoring sheets. Follow the instructions provided for reporting the results. If desired, tasting forms can be returned to the attendees after the results have been tabulated.
  14. The reporting form should be completed on a computer using the Excel document and e-mailed to within 2 weeks after the tasting. All results must be received by October 4 to be included in final report.
  15. Please contact Sharyn Kervyn if you have any questions about the wines or conducting the tasting.

Have a great tasting; we hope you enjoy the wines!

Please fill out our survey form and include photos.

We welcome your feedback!

Thank you for participating in the National Tasting Project!

Prior National Tasting Project Results

Discovering wine from Portugal to Argentina

2019 National Tasting Project "Wines of Washington"

2018 National Tasting Project "Wines of Portugal"

2017 National Tasting Project "Organic, Sustainable & Biodynamic Wines"

2016 National Tasting Project "Rhone Rangers"

2015 National Tasting Project "Austria and Hungary"

Contact if you have any questions or comments about the National Tasting Project.


Contact us

American Wine Society
PO Box 889
Scranton, PA 18501
(888) 297-9070