Why you should enter the new 67 Pall Mall Wine Global Wine Communicator Awards, whoever you are

Hmmm, wine writing competitions. When I started out we had a few. The Glenfiddich Food and Drinks Awards were fun because they included food, which meant famous people won and attended the awards, not just wine people. Then there were the Roederers (previously the Prix du Champagne Lanson) which were dedicated solely to wine. I won the Glenfiddich a couple of times (wine book of the year 2006, and wine writer of the year 2007, when I was quite new to the scene), and then the Roederers for I Taste Red in 2017 (I got shortlisted loads of times, but only won once).

These have both gone, but after a couple of years’ gap we have a new competition, 67 Pall Mall Wine Communicator Awards. And it has a fresh look to it, a fully international outlook, and an impressive roster of judges.

If you communicate about wine professionally you should definitely enter. Why? It’s not necessarily about winning, and it certainly isn’t a way to gauge how good you are. I can’t emphasize enough that win or lose, competitions aren’t a reliable metric on your performance. For a start, judging these awards is very subjective. Judges look for different things, and in part it’s not solely about the quality of your entries. Also, competitions favour people who produce fewer pieces of work, but grander, more refined entries. If your output is regular, you can be doing amazing work, but it might not fit into the sort of judging framework where only two entries are allowed. Low yielding vines are favoured.

And it’s not just about winning. Being shortlisted is great free publicity. Of course, winning is best, but don’t discount the value of being shortlisted. I’d say competitions are probably more useful for those starting out than established performers, but even for those already advanced in their career, it’s worth entering.

So as long as you remember this is not an accurate appraisal of the quality of your work, and you aren’t going to invest any of your emotion into the entry process, you should definitely spend half an hour or so entering this competition. It could bring you some free marketing! Who knows, you might even win. And I suspect the judges will have a special eye out for those just beginning their career in communication, so if that’s you, you’d be mad not to enter.

Just remember though: you are great, and your work is great, and if you don’t get anything from this it means nothing and doesn’t change that.

The 67 Pall Mall Gobal Wine Communicator Awards are open now, entries close on 10th March.