What makes a medal winner?

What makes a medal winner?

Published by Francis Elms on 11th Oct 2023

Now, I don't want to blow Frazier's own trumpet, but according to the eminently trustworthy "Wine-Searcher", we are the big winners for 2023. 

Awarded three "Golds" for the best "French List In The West Midlands", "European List In The West Midlands" and the ultimate "Overall List In The West Midlands", it doesn't get much better than this. 

Medals are only given at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, regionally across the country. There's no overarching "national" retailer award, so we're pretty pleased with this recognition for the standard of our wine range. To be honest, it's you, the customer, who really wins here, as you get to drink these wonderful wines!

Putting these awards into perspective, in the past (2021) Frazier's achieved a "Gold" for their "New World List" (the only major category we missed in 2023) and three "Silver" level wins for "French", "European" and "Overall" in 2022.

Our aim? To keep on improving our range and service offered to you, the customer.

Criteria for the competition is as follows:

Every month, Wine-Searcher takes a snapshot of the wines and spirits that stores list. To win an award, a store must demonstrate its price list has:

  • Wide range of high-quality wines or spirits based on critic scores.
  • Significant depth and breadth across regions.
  • Consistency throughout the year.
  • Have a Merchant Star Rating of 4-stars, or more (Frazier's are rated "5-Star")

There are also separate medals for specialist, individual country/region lists including the likes of Tuscany, Rioja, New Zealand, etc. if the wine list justifies it. We're working on winning some of these as well for 2024.

The wines need to be available to buy (seems an obvious one), but any broker will list everything that's made, even though they don't have the stock, so they're not counted for this competition. If it's on our wine list, we actually have it.

Some of the highest rated wines at the Frazier's tasting ~ Will they make it onto the list?

Photo: Elena Walch wines from Alto Adige, Italy and the biodynamic wines from Chateau Maris in Minervois, France.

But how does a wine make it onto Frazier's list?

We supply a large number of trade accounts who need quality, consistency of supply and great value for their customers. Wines need to fit this remit and are selected at numerous tastings by members of the team. Not everyone has the same taste and, just yesterday, some potential new Italian and French wines were tried by the team and scored for quality. Surprisingly, even though some were expected to show well, not all achieved the lofty heights their reputation had led us to believe. Some, as I'd hoped, were brilliant, so they have a good chance of making the list. Only time will tell.

Not all wines are chosen purely on price, because many are found to be overpriced for their quality and often a less well-known producer of a similar wine style gets the listing because it tastes that much better. Hand selling might be needed, but repeat purchases show if the right wine's been chosen. Wines with a higher than average price need to justify selection with a real "bang-for-buck" wow taste!

In the shop, retail bottles are often chosen as gifts and wines at all price points need to be recommended with confidence. So, if your budget is £10/£20/£30/£50, or even into the £100s, there's not much point in having wines which fall short of expectations. Certain wine regions only produce bottles at very high prices, so direct price comparisons are difficult to make. If you must have a Grand Cru Burgundy, or a Napa Cabernet, be prepared to pay a lot for it. Ask us for recommendations if you're unsure, or want to try something a bit different. We're here to help!

Wines scoring high ratings from various, well-known critics or websites are usually a safe bet for a good drink, but they don't get to try every wine from every vintage. There are just too many wines to taste. New vintages, or producers enter the market before being "rated", so sometimes it pays to give them a try to help get them established. Medals awarded at commercial wine tastings need to be judged on quality, preferably tasted "blind", rather than being awarded on a "Best in Show" basis. If all the best growers don't feel the need to enter the competition, the wines you see are only the "best" of those who bothered to submit entries. 

Let us guide you away from the dross and onto the good stuff. Wine is for DRINKING and enjoyment.

Frazier's Tasting ~ Top 10 Wines

Photo: A "Top 10" selection of the moment from Frazier's wine list.

We've nosed, sipped, slurped & done all the hard work for you to pick out our own medal winning wines to include in our hand-picked range.

Search the website and see if you agree with Wine-Searcher by finding your favourite grapes, styles and countries offering great value wines.

Why not grab the above "Top 10" selection and choose another two bottles for yourself to make up a case? Maybe add some English fizz? You won't be disappointed!

[And you'll save 10% off the normal price]


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