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Medaillewijnen duurder

Wijn-economisten zeggen statistisch te hebben vastgesteld dat medaille-wijnen gemiddeld 13 % meer opbrengen dan niet onderscheiden flessen. Vooral goud is daarbij een belangrijke factor. De conclusie heeft betrekking op een beperkt aantal Franse wijncompetities, die niet tot meest prestigieuze behoren. De collega’s van thedrinksusiness melden:

 

“A working paper posted on the website of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) claims that producers can increase their prices by 13% if they gain a medal in a wine competition.

Judging wine in the Global Rosé Masters where medals are awarded according to oral consensus. Pictured clockwise from top right: Clive Barlow MW, Clement Robert MS, Beverley Blanning MW, Jonathan Pedly MW

The study, entitled The Causal Impact of Medals on Wine Producers’ Prices and the Gains From Participating in Contests, has three main aims, although the primary purpose of the paper is to ascertain the affect of a medal on the price of wine, rather than the level of demand – which is a more common focus of investigation.

Significantly, the study, which has not yet been subject to a peer review process, has shown that a producer whose wine receives a medal can raise their price by 13%.

As one would expect, it also concludes that the impact for a gold “turns out to be much larger than for silver and bronze”.

The study also shows that the effect is only statistically significant for “a small group of contests”, noting that such competitions are not only the most prestigious, but also those where “the judges are required to evaluate relatively few wines per day, and they grant medals by oral consensus”.

In short, the paper’s authors – Emmanuel Paroissien and Michael Visser – conclude that “the incentives to participate in competitions is high”, having calculated the profit producers may expect to get from participating in wine competitions.

The producers studied in this paper are solely Bordeaux wine makers, and the wine competitions are all held in France, where as many as 130 official wine competitions are conducted annually, according to the study.

 

Open approach

Although the study is limited in its scope, it is particularly interesting to see that the most reliable relationship between rising wine prices and medals is found among those competitions where there is an unhurried and open approach to assessing the entries, as opposed to scoring large numbers of wines without discussion.

Certainly, the drinks business, with its Global Masters wine competitions, ensures that the judging of samples is done at a relaxed pace, while every wine is discussed before it is awarded a medal.

This ensures that each judge can justify their assessment of the wine, while also giving them the chance to revise their opinion – which is important, as another fellow wine professional may be more or less sensitive to a particular trait in a sample.

The study also showed that “only a minority” of competitions attribute medals that “are significantly correlated with wine quality”, while noting that the most prestigious contests use wine professionals only.