What is Harpers Wine Stars?
Harpers Wine Stars is a buyer-focused tasting competition dedicated to awarding outstanding wines which can offer UK buyers a balanced, engaging and commercially successful portfolio.
Buyers from across the on and off-trades look for that independent seal of approval, which identifies the star-performing wines that will appeal to their customers. With a vast diversity and array of wines on shelves and wine lists, consumers also like the confidence an independent rating can give. This is, after all, the modern world, and we increasingly live by ratings, whether that be for our holiday, restaurant or retail choices.
Buyers still predominantly source by country, so a comprehensive guide to what is outstanding and what to look for from each country and region is extremely practical. Unlike other tasting competitions, Harpers Wine Stars showcases the full potential of a country and its regions. The results, coupled with the editorial overview, will provide buyers with a truly comprehensive guide to trends, the wines, the regions and the producers they should look to list and champion.
Unlike other wine tasting competitions, ALL our judges are buyers with the expertise and knowledge on what wines will sell in their supermarkets, independent wine shops, wholesale operations, restaurants and bars. These are the buyers at the front line, who know what their customers are looking for in their wine choices.
Every judge wields purchasing power, which makes the results tangible and practical for their buying peers in the trade. Winning the highest star ratings will immediately distinguish your wines as a buyer’s choice.
We are currently accepting entries for the projects highlighted above. Please see below for the full list of countries that we will be running over the course of next year...
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Entry deadline for the next round of tastings:
Stating the Obvious
Why taste, value and design?
Why judge taste, value and design? Judges make their purchasing decisions based on the whole product offering and the judging format of Harpers Wine Stars is designed specifically to reflect that.
This is why Harpers Wine Stars stands out as the most practical tasting competition out there and truly reflects how UK wine buyers buy.
Could you even begin to score a wine without any consideration of taste? It is simply unheard of – and for obvious reasons. We chose to conduct tasting blind to ensure that a level playing field exists for all entries and that no other attribute of a wine impacts its tasting score. In a world where consumers are continuously expanding their knowledge, there is an ever-growing demand for quality in each and every bottle. The taste is paramount to ensure that repeat consumer purchase.
An increasingly competitive and global world means that wineries must ensure what’s in the bottle is worth the money. It also needs to hit the sweet price points within the target market it is aimed at – whether that be a supermarket shelf or a Michelin starred restaurant. Frontline buyers have a duty to offer their customers great value wines at multiple price points and this is what our judges are looking for in the Harpers Wine Stars value round.
With ever-greater choice for consumers, bottle and label design and a clear back label have never been more important. It is therefore vital to recognise not only the effort that has been put into the wine itself, but the messages, design and choice of packaging used to convey this to consumers. Whether the design is an incredible example of innovation or an impressive classical design, the key is giving the drinker the right visual cues and back-label information to choose the wine that suits them, and the occasion.
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