For as long as anyone alive can remember France and Paris has had a focus on the wine industry. Government bodies, regional promotion organisations, winemaking and wineries, but seldom has the focus been on the consumer. The Paris Wine Cup puts the focus firmly on the consumer and what they want from a bottle of wine.
The Paris Wine Cup recognises, rewards and promotes wine brands that are focussed on a specific drinker. Their judges follow strict protocols for quality, value for money and presentation for each entry.
Proposition not Product
As markets become more targeted and specific it is up to products and brands to identify exactly how their brand serves their particular customer. No longer can wines expect to find a market just because they have been produced. Each brand needs to have a clear market proposition, which means that it is more than just a wine and a label. A proposition says something to its consumer, more than the sum of its individual parts. The Paris Wine Cup speaks to those audiences, shining the spotlight on those brands that have the sustainable market proposition and have a clear market for trade buyers.
The Paris Wine Cup recruits judges from the wine industry, however these highly prized positions are more than just wine tasters. Whilst each judge tastes wine during their professional activities they are also commercially aware. Often they will be buying and selling wines in the market, understanding the pulse of the local and international markets, feeling the trends and current fashions.
Quality is not just subjective
Each judge is provided a framework within which quality is understood. It is not a purely subjective judgement, best quality scores or reputation. Wines that are successful in the Paris Wine Cup are different to those wines which seem to score high marks in competitions but as a consumer you struggle to drink more than a glass of. Winners of this prestigious competition must exhibit enjoyable, easy to drink qualities. Their palates must be well balanced, with acidity, tannin and alcohol levels working in harmony.
Value – Opportunities for International Brands
Value for money is an age old riddle and one that wine competitions have struggled to identify. Although France is known for its luxury markets, in actual fact when you scratch the surface, French consumers are just as concerned about value for money as most others.
There are now international wines being demanded and creating sustainable markets and whilst the French classics are still top dogs, there are clear opportunities for other countries to demonstrate great value for money to the more open-minded French consumer.
Packaging – more than just a label
Packaging plays a critical part in the wine products proposition. Traditionally it has been said that packaging is not that important in a wine’s proposition, not least amongst the sommelier community. If the sommelier recommends a wine then the wine must be good whether the label is or not.
This old adage is no longer the case.
Packaging is part of the proposition and helps describe the type of consumer and sector of the market that a product belongs to. Critical thinking in its creation and design is of utmost importance in creating the right brand for the right place.
In the recent London Wine Competition sommeliers were asked about the importance of packaging. Each one rates packaging as super important in the proposition for a wine. As sommeliers by recommending a wine they are extending their reputation to the guest. Having made that recommendation if they then present a poorly packaged wine, or one where no care has been taken, then the sommeliers reputation takes a hit. As is often said consumers buy with their eyes and research shows that 65% of them will buy a wine just because it looks good.
Taken alongside price and quality, if this trio of factors combine to be successful in the consumers eyes then the sweet spot of value for money is achieved. The judges of the Paris Wine Cup are focussed on understanding packaging and design as part of the whole proposition.
Here are all the highlights from the first annual Paris Wine Cup that was held in Paris in the first week of July.
No 1 Spot – 96 Points winning a Double Gold and wine of the year award.
Wine Of The Year: 2017 Gran Appasso Rosso Passito IGP
Winery Of The Year: FEMAR VINI SRL
Best Wine by Quality: 2016 Monopole Mother Vine Shiraz
Best Wine By Value: 2017 Gran Appasso Rosso Passito IGP
Best Wine By Package: 2011 L’ODE À LA JOIE – Champagne Pointillart Leroy
There were 22 gold winners which scored above 90 points and 1 double gold winner in the first edition of Paris Wine Cup.
Wines from all over the world entered with Italy, France, Australia, Germany and the United States stealing the show.