You are probably aware of many different wine competitions all around the world. But do you really know what it is all about? And what it takes to be part of a jury?
As wine expert, we are solicited by those kinds of competitions. Thus we are able to give some answers to your questions below.
Oprah Winfrey once said of wine. “You get a medal! You get a medal! And you get a medal! EVERYBODY gets a medal!”
How are the wine competitions organized ?
Wine competitions’ organizers request winemakers to submit wines for judging. Each winery needs to pay a fee for every wine they decide to submit to be judged. They usually pay also for the medals (if they are lucky enough to receive them) to be later stacked on their winning bottles.
Having their wine judged in a wine competition and luckily winning the final medals will guarantee them publicity for their wine and their winery. And as a result of that, it will help them to convince the public of the greatness of their wines – which they deserve. Most of the time, those bottles with medals are displayed prominently on shelves at supermarkets. It is proven that they sell much more than “normal” bottles. That explains why the winemakers are eager to get one.
What you should do to be selected as judge ?
- Practise blind tasting
- Educate yourself on and on again
- Build your confidence to be able to have an independent opinion and to be able to defend it in discussion
- Make yourself known by winemakers and wine media
What you can NOT do as a judge shortly before the tasting
- Wear perfume
- Smoke cigarettes
- Eat spicy food
- Drink coffee
- Brush your tooth with a strong menthol toothpaste
- Chew a chewing gum
What you should not expect? No one judges wine for the money – no salary comes from it, except Masters of Wine (even though some competitions pay travel expenses and hotels)
What are the benefits of beeing a wine judge ?
- It is a great opportunity to discover new wines
- It brings you more knowledge as you learn from experienced judges
- Networking – you meet a lot of interesting people from the world of wine (retailers, sommeliers, agents, educators, journalists, winemakers)
Are you in? So, what are the necessary qualifications?
Not an exact answer really. You need to be a wine maniac/enthusiast, who is also well educated and widely experienced in wine tasting. Andrea began judging shortly after she’d completed WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits. She takes it very responsibly and gives it a priority over her regular job in wine tourism, even though it is not a paid job.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Now that you’ve learned more about it, its your turn to get there – to the jury!
Let´s meet you there