Worst wine awards?

April 29th, 2019 | Competitions

A day of two ago I received an e-mail for the Yuki Wine Awards, or so I thought. It transpires that the guy sending the mail was called Yuki, representing the Japan Wine Awards – unfortunately his mail had a rather unfortunate header! For a moment I understood it to be a competition for makers of ‘yucky’ wines (actually, I could think of a few possible contenders!)

As you may know I have never been a great fan of wine competitions. So far, in the first few months of 2019, we have been invited to no fewer than 22. Inevitably, the vast majority of these claim to be “Important International Competitions”. Whilst I have no doubt that some of them are probably quite important, it really must be a very lucrative business, with the average entry fee, PER BOTTLE, being around €120, with the most expensive being €200 per bottle. From our side, if you take into account the cost of the samples, together with the cost of the international shipping (by far the most expensive element), the cost of entry soon adds up.

It is clear that ‘International Wine Competitions’ have become big business – the entry fee alone, multiplied by thousands of bottles will soon add up to a pretty substantial amount. And, as a former judge myself, I know that organisers always ‘encourage’ a high percentage of medals and award winners (possibly just to encourage producers to keep entering). As you can probably work out, I am still an old sceptic.

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