Sélections Mondiales des Vins – International recognition for 40 years

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1983 – The Origin of Sélections Mondiales des Vins

The idea originated during the 1983 edition of the Salon des Vins de Montréal. Mr. Paul Shooters, the event’s president, organized a tasting competition exclusively with the wines presented there. The groundwork was laid: the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) immediately joined the project, and subsequently, the newcomer was named “Sélections Mondiales des Vins” (SMV).


The SAQ exclusively takes over the organization of the biennial competition to propel it to new heights.

1989-1990 – A Rapid and Dynamic Growth

The SAQ establishes a dedicated team under the leadership of Mr. Réal Wolfe, who becomes the new Secretary-General of SMV. Under his guidance, starting from the 1990 edition, more than 1000 wines from around the world are submitted to the discerning palates of international judges.

1992 – Creation of a Pioneering Website

SMV creates a website to offer wine enthusiasts from around the world access to all its award-winning wines. This was a pioneering move, as it was well ahead of the introduction of wine ratings by Wine Spectator and Robert Parker.

1993 – An Increasingly International-Scale Competition

Other competitions begin to emerge on the international stage, and the SAQ and SMV collaborate to create synergy among key players. In May 1993, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the World Federation of Major International Wine Competitions is established. Its secretariat is based in Montreal under the supervision of Mr. Réal Wolfe. With this alliance, SMV leverages its influence while developing an extensive network of contacts, resulting in increased competition entries and growing recognition.

The official poster of the 1994 edition of the competition.

2007 – New Owners at the Helm of SMV

SAQ passes the torch, and a duo of private entrepreneurs takes over. An agreement is quickly reached to allow the new owners to retain the name Sélections Mondiales des Vins. Messrs. Denys Paul-Hus and Ghislain K. Laflamme bring the competition back to their hometown of Quebec. The event becomes annual and is held there for 13 editions, until 2019.

Messrs. Denys Paul-Hus (on the left) and Ghislain K. Laflamme (on the right) acquire the competition in 2007.

2019-2020 – A Return and a New Beginning

A wind of change in 2019, as a well-known figure in the industry returns to the helm.

Mr. Réal Wolfe and his partner, Mr. Vicente Sánchez Migallón of Enopassion in Spain, become the owners of SMV for the special 2020 edition. Indeed, it is a year of unprecedented challenges for the new management, as their arrival coincides with the outbreak of COVID-19, which led to a global pandemic.

Therefore, after two postponements, the 2020 edition is held in Quebec under strict health conditions for both organizers and local judges. The challenge is successfully met, paving the way for a return to Montreal in 2021.

Vicente Sánchez Migallón of Enopassion (on the left) and Réal Wolfe, President of SMV (on the right).

2021 – Emergence of New Partnerships

New partnerships are formed with the SAQ and the Institut du tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), which becomes the new home of the prestigious international competition. Additionally, Mr. Réal Wolfe and his team have developed a regional-level wine recruitment approach where local stakeholders promote the call for entries, always with the aim of showcasing producers and wines from around the world. One of the observations made today about the competition, beyond the significant number of products entered, is the increase in the quality level of wines vying for the title.

The Sélections Mondiales des Vins team during the 2022 edition.

2023 – SMV Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

Finally, SMV celebrates its 40th anniversary and its 30th edition this year. The competition now enjoys a reputation that extends beyond borders, and its strategic position in North America provides a privileged launchpad for many producers from around the world seeking new markets. As for Quebec wine enthusiasts, year after year, they discover new products bearing the renowned SMV labels that satisfy their thirst for discoveries.

With the collaboration of Jean Chouzenoux, Foreign Correspondent, Magazine Prestige, SamyRabbat.com.

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