Still in the press
July 13th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Before I moved to Spain (quite a few years ago now) my last boss in the UK wine trade did not really like journalists, and also had a very low opinion of wine competitions. For the sake of decency I can’t repeat in my blog what he actually said about them, but suffice to say he thought that they were a waste of time….
My own personal view is mixed – of course journalists can help to form opinion, and steer consumers towards new discoveries, but on the other hand they can never tell people what they should or shouldn’t drink. Very fortunately we all like different things and have different tastes, which in the end, helps to make the world of wine a much more interesting place.
At Castro Martin we have never stopped submitting samples to wine guides and the occassional magazine, but I have to say that we do not actively enter many wine competitions unless we feel that it will really make a difference…… and that is my point. To enter wine competitions is actually quite an expensive business – not only the cost of sending samples around the world, but then there are often some very steep entry fees to be paid as well. For the amount that we spend, we would, quite naturally, like to see some small return.
Over the years we have been lucky enough (or perhaps I should say good enough) to pick up our fair share of medals and awards, but if I am to be very honest, hand on heart, these ‘gongs’ have had very little or possibly no impact at all on our sales. I guess this might be the reason that my ex-boss was so sceptical – sometimes you do begin to ask yourself the question “is it actually worth it”?
I have always been a great advocate of the idea “let the wine speak for itself”. Yes, a journalist can steer you towards your first experience of a new wine, but it’s when you pull the cork that you ultimately decide whether you will buy the wine again. In this respect I am much more confident that once you taste our wine you will not hesitate to repeat your purchase, and that, in my book, is the true measure of success.
As I think I have said before, the quality of importers and customers that we have around the world is a much better reference than a hatful of gold medals.
Oh, and by the way, the Mi Vino magazine wrote some very nice comments about our Castro Martin Family Estate (served on British Airways First Class), but in this instance they were not actually awarding points or medals……