Supermarket tries harder

Judges Jen Parr and Jane Cooper at the 2018 New World Wine Awards. (Photo: New World Supermarkets)

I invited the students in several of my wine classes to take part in a survey of Auckland wine outlets. I named many of Auckland’s leading winery retailers and asked them which, in their view, had the best selection, best prices, best service etc. Finally, I asked them where they bought most of their wine. Their answers surprised me.

One feature of the competition that I particularly like is the use of eight New World liquor managers as associate judges to increase their wine tasting skills.

The majority of wine buyers surveyed didn’t shop at the outlet they perceived to have the largest range, best prices or best service. They shopped at their local supermarket.

Supermarkets rely on traffic and purchasing power to sell high volumes of wine at competitive prices. From my perspective, they really don’t have to try very hard to make a lot of money by selling a lot of wine. For this reason, I am impressed by the New World Wine Awards.

For 16 years, New World has invited 17 independent experts to taste and re-taste a large selection of local and imported wines that retail for less than NZD $25 and have enough volume to supply there stores nationwide (5000 bottles or 3000 for ‘niche varietals’). This year 1,258 wines were entered from 178 wineries.

One feature of the competition that I particularly like is the use of eight New World liquor managers as associate judges to increase their wine tasting skills. The managers’ marks don’t count toward the medal result but the experience and confidence they gain is invaluable.

Their trophy winners list is as follows:

All under NZD $25 and all on sale at New World.

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