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Sommeliers Choice Awards are now Becoming a Leading Benchmark for On-trade Wine Selection

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10/02/2023 Consumers are looking for wine styles that are high in terms of quality & demand, particularly for the US market.

Winning wines in the Sommeliers Choice Awards represent consumer demand by demonstrating which wine styles are currently popular, what consumers are looking for in terms of quality, and what varietals are in high demand, particularly for the US market. In addition, with its focus on the on-trade, sommeliers and wine directors may use the Sommeliers Choice Awards as a benchmark when making buying decisions.

A Reliable Way to Judge Consumer Demand

Winning wines in the Sommeliers Choice Awards represent consumer demand, the critical element in creating a wine list or designing a wine program, in quite a few ways:

1) Popular Styles and Varietals: By tracking which types of wines are winning awards, sommeliers and wine directors can get a sense of what styles and varietals are currently popular with consumers. For example, if a certain type of wine wins multiple awards, this indicates high demand and that consumers are showing a preference for that style.

2) Consumer Trends: The Sommeliers Choice Awards are judged by a panel of sommeliers, who are often in close contact with consumers and have a good understanding of their preferences. By tracking the wines that are winning awards, sommeliers and wine directors can get a sense of the current trends in consumer tastes and preferences.

3) High Quality: Wines that win awards are objectively evaluated as high quality, and consumers are often willing to pay more for such products. By choosing to stock and serve these award-winning wines, sommeliers and wine directors can demonstrate to their customers that they are committed to offering high-quality products and that they are aware of the current trends in consumer preferences.

4) Brand Recognition: Winning an award in the Sommeliers Choice Awards increases brand recognition and visibility for a wine. Consumers are often more likely to try and purchase a wine that has received recognition from such a respected source.

Of course, consumer demand is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that may change quickly. Sommeliers and wine directors will also want to consider factors such as price, availability, and local market conditions when making purchasing decisions.

What Makes The Sommeliers Choice Awards Superior?

Wine Quality: The awards are given based on the quality of the wine as determined by a panel of sommeliers. Sommeliers and wine directors can reliably use the awards to identify wines that have been highly rated by their peers and are considered to be of high quality.

Industry Trends: By tracking the types of wines that are winning awards, sommeliers and wine directors can get a sense of the current trends in the industry and what types of wines are being well-received by consumers.

Reputation: The Sommeliers Choice Awards are well-respected in the industry and are considered a credible source of information. By choosing wines that have won awards, sommeliers can demonstrate their own knowledge and expertise in selecting high-quality wines.

There are even more elements that truly make the Awards stand out. This includes the Expert Judging Panel. The awards are judged exclusively by sommeliers, who are experts in wine and have a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of on-trade customers. This means that the awards are well-suited to identifying wines that are well-suited for on-trade use, such as those that are of high quality, versatile, and easy to pair with food.

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There’s also the Awards’ specific relevance to the on-trade: The awards are specifically focused on the on-trade, which means that the judging criteria are designed to take into account the unique needs and requirements of this market. For example, the awards may place a greater emphasis on factors such as versatility, food-friendliness, and value for money, which are particularly important for on-trade customers.

Independent and Transparent: The Sommeliers Choice Awards are independently organized and judged, which helps to ensure that the awards are credible, transparent, and free from bias. This can increase confidence in the awards and help to establish them as a trusted and reliable benchmark for on-trade wine selection.

Don’t forget global reach. The Sommeliers Choice Awards have a global reach, which means that they can highlight the best wines from different regions and countries around the world. This can be particularly valuable for sommeliers and wine directors, as it can help them to identify new and exciting wines that they may not otherwise have had the opportunity to try.

In summary, the Sommeliers Choice Awards can be considered superior to other wine competitions because of their focus on the on-trade, their expert judging panel, their independence and transparency, and their global reach. These factors can help to make the awards a valuable resource for sommeliers and wine directors as they make decisions about what wines to stock and serve in their establishments. As Sam Bennet, chief winemaker at Te Pa Family Vineyards said, "To have our flagship wine judged so highly by the decision makers and tastemakers at some of the USA’s top on-premise venues is a proud moment for our whole team." In general, the Sommeliers Choice Awards can serve as a valuable resource for sommeliers and wine directors as they make decisions about what wines to stock and serve in their establishments. 

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