Excelsior has just won a Gold and Double Gold medal in a very important wine competition. We are very proud of this achievement, and it should help sales along nicely. But winning medals is not what producing wine is all about.
Wines in a competition are tasted blind, which means that a judge has no idea of the identity of the wine. This is the only fair way of judging, as our knowledge of a product will influence our judgement of it. If you know you are drinking the most expensive wine in the world, you are going to try and enjoy it no matter what!
If your wine does not win in a competition, it does not mean that the wine is not good. All it means is that it did not stand out in line-up of maybe 90 odd wines.
We place far greater emphasis on things like sales rates – if the wine is selling well, customers must be enjoying it. Another trick I have learned in the past few years is to do a google search of my particular wine, eg Excelsior Cabernet 2007. I get to see what customers are saying about the wine online. This way I am able to track and compare vintages and styles, and what customers feel about them. And comments are spot on. There have been times when I have not been totally sure of a wine, and I will notice more negative comments and descriptions. Obviously you are never going to please all, but if most enjoy the wine, then you are on the right track.
So the best judge is probably the person who is drinking the wine, as he or she is the one who has to enjoy it or not.