SA Wine Competitions
Wine Competitions are one way to assess whether a wine is good quality, and there are plenty of South African wine competitions to ensure that consumers really know whether a wine is a good purchase. Some of the competitions attract massive amounts of attention, with hundreds of estates putting their bottles into the event. Even when wine types are divided into different classes of wine (such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon), there can sometimes be tens of entries in each section. Working out who will win the awards for best wines can sometimes be difficult, particularly when the judges are tasting more than 100 wines sin each class.
Sometimes this can be a bad thing, because judges are human, and therefore fallible. They might find it hard to tell the difference between different wines, and will sometimes choose one which is distinctive for reasons other than being completely the best. The ones will more body, or the fullest flavour, end up winning more medals than a subtle, high-quality rival. There are also occasions where some wine producers have tried to sabotage South African wine competitions, sometimes offering a slightly different wine to the one which is being mass produced, or adding special substances to enhance the flavour of the bottle which is being shown.
Nevertheless, South African wine competitions are necessary in order to encourage producers to create good wines. By holding these events, organisers are helping to raise the standard of the wine-making industry, holding it to new values and ensuring that South African wines just keep getting better. By having an event to which the majority of wine makers in the country submit a sample, rivalries between the different estates ensures that better wines, with new aromas and more exciting flavours, reach the general public each year.
One particularly well known wine award is the Veritas award. This is the one which gives out most medals, and is sometimes described as ‘The Oscars for South African Wine Competitions’. Just like the Oscars, the competition is fierce, and many are keen to win the Gold or Silver medals which are awarded in each category. These awards are considered to demonstrate that a wine is of exceptional quality. The judging is conducted by a number of specialist wine experts, and the award ceremony is a unique event to which the public are invited. Veritas SA wine competition celebrated 20 years in 2010, and decided to include Brandy as a class to celebrate this event.
The Top 100 South African Wine Competition is a new runner amongst the old traditionals, but has already attracted a lot of attention from participants in other competitions. Although beginners, this competition has already started to do the right things, bringing in specialist judges from South Africa as well as other countries, and all of the wines are blind taste-tested, meaning that the judges will not know which wine is which. By deciding to run the competition to a high standard, the Top 100 South African Wines Competition can also help to increase exposure for SA wines around the world.