Understanding International Contest Juries. What is required of a wine in order to receive an award? This round table, which took place at FENAVIN on the first day of the trade fair, the same sponsored by Caixabank, has been of great use to those in attendance as they have been able to find out all about the necessary keys to improve award options in international wine contests, with the goal to achieve positioning on the market and increase sales.
The round table Understanding International Contest Juries. What is required of a wine in order to receive an award? was moderated by Marie Calderón, responsible of the FENAVIN Buyers Program and the following were participants:
Agustín Trapero, Head Sommelier, WSET Diploma and Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Course, who is a jury member at the Decanter Wine World Awards and at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC); Tugba Altinöz, Consultant and Level 4 Diploma WSET, jury member of the Mundus Vini, International Wine Challenge (IWC) London and the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) London, as well as oenologist Sean Yeah, jury member at the Asia Champion Sommelier Wine and Spirit Awards and at the Wine & Gourmet Taipei WGT Awards.
One of the main goals of this round table has been to inform those in attendance on the importance of achieving good positions in the prestigious wine contests mentioned above, due to the fact that awards and recognitions to the quality of a wine in important international contests represents a great asset for the producers and a true boost in the sales of the wineries that produce it.
The oenologist Sean Yeah, considers that the awards granted in these types of contests “are also very important for those clients that are unaware of the different wines that are produced”. Tugba Altinöz, along the same line, is also of the opinion that the medals and awards obtained at international contests represent “a guarantee of quality and an essential guideline for the clients”.
During their different turns, the professionals have attempted to bring the figure of the jury member at these international contests closer to the professional public, this with the goal of ensuring that those in attendance could understand the scope of academic and professional training of the consumer motivator in question, of his domain and work method, as well as the professional goals and mental makeup, which is something that can help the producer to both present their product and the information in an adequate manner, and also to design and elaborate products that meet certain patterns of evaluation that are employed in these contests.
Knowing the standard
The speakers have also pointed out the importance of knowing the standard that takes priority in the decisions taken by the juries at these competitions. In this regard, the Head Sommelier, Agustín Trapero, explained that “differences exist, as each market has its own standard”. In this sense he has recalled how the United States market has more of a tendency towards aged, full-bodied wines, while areas such as the United Kingdom give more importance to aspects such as elegance and refinement.
On her part, Túgba Altinöz has emphasized the importance of wineries participating in contests held in those markets where they want to penetrate and expand their sales, this with the aim of being better known.
On the other hand, the professionals have underlined how, in commercial terms, the distinctions that are obtained in these types of contests can be decisive in that pertaining to the purchase decision made by some consumers and buyers, apart from positively contributing to adequate positioning of the brand, hence the importance that FENAVIN’s organization has given to this proposal.
During the chat the speakers have also referred to the organoleptic characteristics that a winning wine must gather together, amongst which aspects such as quality, balance, elegance and typicity are to be found.