When you’re surfing the shelves for a good bottle to go with dinner, you may wonder what the many awards wine can have actually mean. We take a look at some of the popular wine awards in New Zealand
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards
Described as the premier wine awards in New Zealand, the competition is organised by the Wine Growers Association and has been running for over 30 years. Around 1500 New Zealand wines are entered each year and blind tasted by an expert panel of judges who award gold, silver, bronze and trophy medals. "Winning a trophy or medal is recognition of the hard work and skill that goes into making the wine and lets consumers know they are drinking some of the finest wine in the world” says Global Marketing Director for New Zealand Winegrowers, Chris Yorke.
What to expect on your bottle: A tear-shaped label, the colour of the award, with the Air New Zealand logo.
Spiegelau International Wine Competition
Launched in 2011, this competition aims to help producers benchmark their wines with those from around the world. Held in Marlborough, over three days in July, the competition commands over 1400 entries – all judged by the independent expert panel.
In 2015, 6.5% of all the wines entered were awarded a gold medal; that’s 83 wines that achieved a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. There is a public auction of the wine at the end of the event, with proceeds going to the Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust to be allocated as grants and scholarships within the industry.
What to expect on your bottle: A gold, silver or bronze sticker depending on which category your wine was awarded a medal in.
The New Zealand International Wine Show
A young event, established in 2005, it is now the largest wine competition held in New Zealand each year. In 2015 there were 2100 entries from ten different countries, with 221 gold medals given out. There were also silver, bronze and trophy wines
What to expect on your bottle: A small black and gold sticker with a wine glass motif, telling you the class of award the wine received.
NZ Organic Wine Awards
The newest kid on the award block, launched in 2014, this competition celebrates NZ wine that is certified organic. There is no entry fee and no awards ceremony – it’s a very low-key affair. But the 100 odd wines that enter represent some of the best organic winemaking, often from small vineyards, in the country.
What to expect on your bottle: A circular sticker with a flat side, the colour of the award, with a roots logo.
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