A bottle of wine that was reportedly bought from a local supermarket and cost little more than £2 has won an international competition, a Belgian TV show has claimed.
The wine was submitted to the competition as an experiment by the Belgian programme that set out to test the juries in this type of competition.
The programme ‘On n’est pas des pigeons’ (We are not suckers) said it submitted what it called the “worst wine from a supermarket” to the Gilbert et Gaillard international competition – and producers were stunned to learn that it won a top award.
The bottle cost only €2.50 (£2.15), with the programme’s producers allegedly replacing its label with a fake eye-catching one containing a dove (a nod to the the show’s name) and even the colours of the programme.
They said they renamed the wine Le Château Colombier.
Entry to the competition cost €50 plus €20 for an analysis of the wine to find out its exact composition, although in this case the programme sent in a fake report.
The jury’s assessment described the mixed wine as “smooth, nervous and rich palate with clean, young aromas that promise a pleasant complexity. Very interesting”.
The programme said that it had conducted the experiment because for many of these competitions the juries were not experts but volunteers who had applied to be on the jury.
It revealed that one of its editors had previously volunteered for a similar competition and discovered that there was not one real expert on his jury table.
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It says that such competitions are influential with any bottle of wine carrying a medal or an award on its label generally enjoying a 15 per cent increase in sales.
For this reason, it recommended as reliable the ‘Concours Mondial de Bruxelles’ (Brussels International Competition), where the prizes were awarded by genuine oenology professionals.
On social media, one Twitter user explained: “No one takes the Gilbert et Gaillard contest seriously in the international wine markets. Serious competitions are blind — the bottle or label is not displayed. In addition, there is no rule that 2.5 euros will be bad for wine, the ex-winery sales price of most of the wines sold as “good” in the market does not exceed 3-4 euros. [After] import costs, shipping, taxes, dealer’s share etc, unfortunately it is sold to the consumer for very high prices.
“In my opinion, this is nothing more than an advertising campaign created to attract attention to such competitions as G&G.”
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