Judges at the 2016 Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) have sniffed, sipped and spat out 2000 entries – but it was a humble $5 bottle of rose from discount chain Aldi that attracted their attention.
The Aldi 2015 South Point rose was awarded a coveted Blue Gold medal, and was one of six winners in that blend category, proving you don’t have to spend a fortune to reap the rewards.
It retails at $4.99 and costs less than a bottle of Passion Pop.
In fact, there were almost 80 drops under $20 that took home awards from the annual competition.
Aldi also starred with its Tudor Central Victorian shiraz 2014 which retailed at $12.99, and was awarded a trophy, as well as The Pond Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, which took out a Blue Gold award and was one of the Top 100 Wines of the competition, retailing at $6.99.
The award winners accounted for the top 15 per cent of a whopping 2000 entries, showing Aldi’s success was hard-fought and well-earned.
Among that top 15 per cent, there were 69 winning wines that cost between $11 and $20, and 117 wines that ranged between $21 and $30.
New Zealand’s Yealands Wine Group, had seven medal-winning wines for under $15 a bottle.
The SIWC is unique by which entrants were judged by 13 wine buffs alongside matching food.
Chairman of Judges Kym Milne praised the diversity and quality of entrants.
“This wine competition is all about providing the consumer with a range of wine options for a range of different dining situations,” Mr Milne said.
“A real diversity of wine styles, produced from an ever-increasing range of grape varieties have been awarded either Top 100, Blue Gold, Gold or Highly Commended status.
“It is pleasing to see not just diversity between the classes but also within the classes providing the consumer with some really interesting options of wines with which to experiment.”
Aldi rakes in the awards … again
SIWC founder and retiring competition director Warren Mason told News Corp that he was impressed with Aldi’s swag of awards.
Mr Mason praised Aldi buying director Jason Bowyer “for his fantastic palate and understanding his consumer base”.
“I think he’s probably better than anyone is in terms of thinking of his market, given he’s able to offer wines at $10 a bottle or less,” he said.
“He’s obviously got his technique and approach right.”
Aldi has also won at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and the Perth Royal Show.
Mr Bower told Huffington Post the secret to selling a $4.99 bottle, after producing, bottling and shipping costs.
He said there were no sales or marketing teams contributing to the overheads, and Aldi supplied a limited variety, which simplified the distribution.
“We see our market as young consumers, and they might come in for a $5 tempranillo, and they’ll think ‘well, I had a great experience, what else can I try?’,” Mr Bowyer said.
“They might be emboldened to try a $15 wine next time.”
Click here for a full list of winners and judges notes.