I'll admit it. I'm a wine nerd and an Internet nerd. So, it should come as no surprise that I surf winery websites just about every day. I focus largely on New York State most of the time, but I do branch out into California, Virgina and even South America.
I should also mention that I'm a word nerd. I have a graduate degree in writing, so I may notice things like this moreso than someone else would... but:
Does the phrase "award-winning wines" mean a damn thing to anyone anymore?
I'm willing to bet that at least 99% of winery websites I visit include this phrase in some prominent way.
It's really starting to drive me crazy.
It means absolutely nothing at this point. It does not set you apart. There is no differentiation gained. Just because the Southeast-West Coast Chapter of the Mediocre Wine Guild Assocation Board has given you a bronze metal for your syrupy-sweet Chardonnay doesn't mean that it matters.
Maybe I'm being too tough on these people. It's not their fault that there are thousands of "awards" handed out to pretty much anyone who ferments grape juice. Maybe they do need to include "award-winning" in their collateral just so it's not noticeably absent amongst the pages of marketing fluff most wineries subject us to.
But we, as wine consumers have got to be so desensitized to this phrase by now. Don't we?
The question remains: Should I be ranting against the onslaught of awards or the recipients for thinking we'll be impressed?
I mean...do the best wines even enter many competitions?