Competition Details

Competition Details 2018-04-12T14:40:45+00:00


Entry deadline: April 16th

Entry arrival deadline: April 20th

The competition will take place on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Download Entry Form & Classes
Online Entry Form


  • All entries must be fermented or distilled from 100% New England-origin grapes, fruit, honey or maple sap.
  • No fruit components may be included that will not grow naturally and sustainably in New England (tropical, citrus etc.). Fruit may be whole or from concentrate, but must be 100% New England origin, and may not contain flavoring agents.
  • Entries must be bottled with TTB-approved labels and available for sale to the public.
  • Two bottles of each entry must be submitted unless container size smaller than 375 ml; total volume of containers must equal at least 750 ml.
  • Grape wine entries should have the name of the state on the front label as the legal appellation unless: 1) a TTB-approved AVA such as Southeastern New England is used instead; 2) if the grapes are not all from the state where the winery is listed, and carries an “American” appellation, the source states for the fruit must be listed, and the percentages for each state.
  • Entry fees (if by check) must accompany the entry form(s). Entries are not official until full payment for each entry has been received. Checks (for entries by mail) should be made to “Richard Leahy Enterprises” and mailed to 105 Danbury Court, Charlottesville, VA  22902. Entries made online will pay via PayPal.
  • Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • Be sure to read the list of classes carefully and code your entry with its correct class. The competition will not be responsible if entries are coded incorrectly by the entrant. Entrants may petition to receive scanned copies of judge notes. Signature of the entering official on the entry form certifies that the entry is accurate as described, and the entrant is responsible for the accuracy of entry descriptions.
  • Entries that arrive after deadline cannot be guaranteed entry in the competition. All bottles/containers entered become the property of the Best of New England Wine Competition. No refunds for cancellations can be made after the close of registration or shipping deadlines.
  • The only spirits eligible are those distilled from fruits or honey or sap, no grain spirit entries or fruit-flavored vodka.


$65.00 per entry, payable in U.S. dollars online through PayPal, payable by check with mailed entry forms to Richard Leahy Enterprises (with funds drawn on a U.S. bank) or Mastercard/Visa.


Entries will be judged blind on a 20-point scale, in their separate classes, flighted by residual sugar, by industry professionals drawn from the New England and the Mid-Atlantic region to reduce regional or “insider” bias while including that perspective.  10-11 points = flawed, 12 points = no medal, 13-14 points = bronze, 15-17 points = silver, and 18-20 points = gold. A unanimous panel gold earns an entry a “double gold” score.

Awards will be given for Best of Category, Best of State, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Best of Category awards are given to the top scoring Red Wine, White Wine, Sparkling Wine, Cider or Perry, Fortified, Dessert, Mead, and Spirits entries. If the top red or white wine is a grape-based wine, there will also be a Best Fruit Wine award. Category winners must be at least a gold medal winner. Gold medal fruit wines with under 1% residual sugar will be eligible to be judged in the final elimination round for two categories: Best White/Red Wine, and Best Fruit Wine.

Medallions of the award level with neck ribbons to hang on bottles will be mailed to the entrants when received from the manufacturer (medals can take six weeks to produce). The list of award medalists will be posted online at and entrants will be notified by e-mail of their medalist entries within a week of the competition.


DELIVERY DEADLINE (for entries): April 20


Entries need to arrive no later than Friday, April 20th. Please plan accordingly. Send to:

Best of New England Wine Competition
c/o Richard Leahy
105 Danbury Court
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Two bottles of each entry are required. Entries should be shipped in thick cardboard shipping containers with high R-value insulation to avoid heat or cold damage. Shipping description should include “Samples: not for re-sale”, and a copy of the entry form should be included in each box. When shipping in multiple containers, label them “1 of _” through all container numbers.


Complete the Online Entry Form and pay by credit card.
Download your Best of New England Wine Competition entry form, complete and mail to the above address with check payable to “Richard Leahy Enterprises” for $65 x the number of entries.


The judges for the Best of New England wine competition are outstanding industry professionals (retailers, distributors, wine/cider/mead makers, and researchers).


Richard Leahy | info[at]