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Why the London Wine Competition is the World’s Most Relevant Wine Competition

07-09-2018 09:29 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Beverage Trade Network

London Wine Competition

London Wine Competition

Judging wines from the perspective of consumers to find the world’s most commercially relevant wines

London, UK – In just the past decade, much has changed in the world of wine. It’s not just that great wines are being produced in far-flung wine destinations around the world - it’s also that entirely new product categories (such as organic and biodynamic wines) are being created. New mobile-centric platforms for finding and selling wines have emerged. And consumers today are just as likely to buy a wine from the grocery store as they are from a specialist wine store. All of these changes have led to a fundamental re-thinking of how to rate and evaluate wines. Which is exactly why the London Wine Competition has become the world’s most relevant wine competition.

Unlike other international wine competitions, the London Wine Competition ** ** uses a scoring system that is designed with the end consumer in mind. There are three key criteria used by the London Wine Competition - Quality, Value and Packaging & Design - and each of them reflects the fundamental changes that have occurred in the world of wine over the past 10 years.

For example, take the most important of these criteria – Quality. Most wine competitions celebrate sophisticated winemaking techniques and the creation of unique wines over the creation of enjoyable, easy-to-drink wines that consumers actually want to buy. The London Wine Competition is so relevant precisely because it has grasped that, in the wine world, the pendulum has swung firmly in the favor of consumers and wine drinkers. Wines that win awards in a competition are those that wine drinkers are actually going to drink. Consumers are actively looking for bottles of wine that they can enjoy over and over again and that match the flavor characteristics they are looking for.

A few years ago, people might have scoffed at a popular wine being sold exclusively by a big-box retailer like Costco or Aldi, but look at what is happening today - consumers are clamoring for award-winning bottles of wine that they can pick up for less than $10. Consumers, especially young millennials, are also much more willing to explore wines from New World wine destinations like New Zealand, South Africa, and Chile.

And, of course, with the growing popularity of wine e-commerce sites and mobile wine apps, consumers are now more informed than they ever have been about pricing. With just a tap of a button on their smartphones, they can see whether they are getting value for their money. Why is a $10 bottle of wine at the local supermarket being sold for $15 at the specialist wine store nearby? Why is that Pinot Noir from Sonoma priced lower than a Pinot Noir from California’s Central Coast? With mobile wine apps, consumers have a valuable tool both at home and (more importantly) at the point-of-purchase to decide whether or not to buy a particular bottle of wine.

That’s why the London Wine Competition has made Value one of the defining characteristics of how to evaluate a bottle of wine. Does a particular bottle of wine offer value for the money at its respective price point? That type of approach is something that you won’t find at other wine competitions. In many ways, other wine competitions completely ignore the importance of price and value – they consider a wine to be a great wine because it is made well, not because it was made with the needs of wine drinkers in mind.

And, finally, mention has to be made of the third and very distinctive criterion of the London Wine Competition: Packaging & Design. Remember when all wine bottles had a picture of a chateau on it, combined with an impossible-to-pronounce name? Those days are over, as many upstart wine brands are now partnering with marketing experts to come up with a fun brand story behind the wine, a unique marketing twist, and a bold, vibrant label that looks nothing like the wine labels of 10 or 20 years ago.

In short, packaging and design matter now more than ever. And that, too, is something that the London Wine Competition recognizes. It is the first international wine competition to make packaging and design an official judging criterion. How a bottle of wine looks, in other words, can be just as important as how the wine tastes. Consumers buy wine with their eyes first, and the way a bottle looks on the retail shelf can be the difference between buying the wine or not. Often, the wine label itself can be a valuable clue whether the wine is going to be easy and enjoyable to drink.

Moreover, there is one other factor that makes the London Wine Competition so relevant - it is hosted in the center of London, which has emerged as an important hub in Europe’s bulk wine and private label market. In other words, London matters as a wine destination, not so much because of nearby growers and vineyards, but precisely because it is a commercial hub for European wine. If you want to be successful in the wine business, you need to understand the tastes, preferences, and behaviors of UK wine drinkers. And if there is one thing that UK wine drinkers have demonstrated over the past decade, it is that they are perfectly OK with picking up a bottle of wine at the local Tesco’s supermarket as long as it offers value for their money.

And that brings us back to the central premise of the London Wine Competition - it is the place to exhibit wines to demonstrate their commercial viability. And that commercial viability is, in today’s modern global economy, about a lot more than just taste or drinkability. It is about how well a wine fits into a particular lifestyle, or how well it is targeted to a unique customer demographic.

In short, the London Wine Competition is now the world’s most relevant wine competition because it has taken stock of the enormous changes that have taken place in the wine world over the past decade, and adjusted accordingly. The three judging criteria used by the competition - Quality, Value and Packaging & Design - are precisely the criteria that consumers around the world now use when they are contemplating which bottle of wine to purchase. The London Wine Competition, far more than any other wine competition, helps to shine a spotlight on the wines that customers actually want to buy.

About London Wine Competition

The London Wine Competition ** ** looks to recognize, reward and help promote wine brands that have successfully been created to identify with and target a specific wine drinker. For any wine brand to earn its place on a retailer’s shelf or a restaurant’s wine list - and then vitally stay there - they need to be marketable and consumer driven and not just produced in the general hope it can find enough people willing to sell and buy it.

That is why the London Wine Competition is different. It will single out and shine the spotlight on those wine brands that consumers really want to buy and have a clear market value for trade buyers.

About Beverage Trade Network

Beverage Trade Network (BTN) hosts events, competitions, expos, tastings, and conferences for the alcohol beverage industry on a global basis. In addition to the London Wine Competition, for example, BTN also hosts the China Wine Competition. In addition, BTN hosts the USA Trade Tasting event in New York, the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show in San Francisco and London, and a number of other events in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Beverage Trade Network is dedicated to helping spirits producers and spirits brand owners get closer to buyers, distributors, and retailers. As part of this mission, Beverage Trade Network organizes events as part of a wider drinks initiative to introduce new brands, producers, and manufacturers to the global marketplace.

For more information on Beverage Trade Network:

Beverage Trade Network
501 Silverside Rd
Suite 77
Wilmington, DE 19809

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