by Ben Palos
Almost every week, your inbox receives another wine competition deadline reminder. With so many options for wine competitions, itâ€™s important to choose which ones are worth the money, time and effort. We consider the following factors when helping clients select their list of top-tier competitions.
Why does your brand need a score?
Awards from wine competitions can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you know what youâ€™ll do with the results before you get them. For instance:
- Provide Sales Team Ammo: Medals allow your sales team to promote a wineâ€™s good results in sales presentations or on point of sales materials.
- Increase Regional Presence: If your brand needs traction in a specific geographic area, explore the available local or regional wine competitions that have name recognition with consumers.
- Become the â€œMost Awardedâ€: Some brands enter as many competitions as possible and rack up scores and medals so they can claim to be the â€œmost awarded California Merlot,â€ for example.
Remember, not all wines in your portfolio need a score. Wines that have limited allocation (such as tasting room or wine club only wines) and always sell out each year are typically not good candidates for competitions.
Who are the judges and/or organizers?
Many prominent wine writers are the judges and/or organizers of wine competitions. Entering their competitions is a great way to support this important audience and get your brand on their radar. Browse the list of judges, often prominently displayed on the competitionâ€™s website. If there are individuals you want to support or who you know enjoy your wines, then itâ€™s a competition you should consider entering.
Whatâ€™s the (real) cost?
When selecting competitions, consider more than your monetary budget and the cost per entry. Know how many bottles the competition needs for each entry and investigate requirements for the winners. Will winning wines need to provide additional bottles for a grand tasting event? Will a winery representative need to be present at this event? The costs can add up quickly, so make sure youâ€™re prepared for them.