On wine awards

We wine writers love wine awards. When we win, that is.

I remember one evening when I was shortlisted three times for the Roederers. You have to fancy your odds when you are shortlisted that many times. I came away with nothing. Of course, I was delighted for the winners. And the winners are always ‘humbled’ to have won, when they tell the world the good new on their social media feeds.

I’ve won a few in my time, but nowhere near as many as some of my colleagues who seem to be serial award winners. I think the key is to either deliberately write award-winning style articles, or to deliberately target one of the more niche awards with a few entries. [Of course, you also have to write well – that’s a given; and you can’t have too many enemies on the judging panel, either.]

One of my problems with these awards, though, is that they require a small number of specific entries. Usually, three to five of them. This suits people who write well researched, longer feature articles. It doesn’t suit those of us who specialize in digital, and use their channels to put out lots of smaller items of content.

I think there should be room for judging a body of work. For example, rewarding someone with a particularly fine Instagram feed – not judging them on just three Instagram posts over a 12 month period. Or, for a blogger: look at their output. It’s easy enough to spend some time browsing through a blog.

And then there are somewhat contrived categories that are often there to satisfy sponsors. It takes away a little from writing awards if the categories are very narrow or specialist: you end up with very high quality entries in the more significant category, and fewer, less good ones in the narrow ones.

But it’s always good to enter. Whether you win or lose, it’s just the way it is. If you win: bonus. If you don’t, it doesn’t mean you aren’t good.

Some of the awards I’ve entered and have won or been shortlisted in:

The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards  https://theroedererawards.com/

Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards https://www.fortnumandmason.com/events/food-and-drink-awards

James Beard Awards

Andre Simon Drink Book Awards http://www.andresimon.co.uk/awards.html

Born Digital Awards

wine journalist and flavour obsessive

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