Wines can be entered into wine contests to be judged by competent juries on the basis of their organoleptic qualities. A round medal-style label, specific to each competition, is stuck onto bottles of award-winning wines. Award winners benefit from a boost to their image and also become ambassadors of the richness of French produce and the quality of the country’s wines. To guarantee the impartiality of the jury, and thus the value of the results, each competition follows a strict set of organisational rules. They are usually compiled into Regulations and/or are detailed on the competition’s official website. They list the participants in the contest, the list of wines that may compete, the jury members, the organiser, the list of awards, etc. The main contest in France is the national agricultural show organised by the Ministry of Agriculture.
In order to shore up the reputations of award-winning French wines, a bill modernising the rules for awarding medals was passed on 13 February 2013. Only wine contests that respect these new rules and are registered with the French ministry in charge of consumption can award medal-labels to be stuck on award-winning bottles. These changes have been designed with wine contest organisers in mind, as well as all protagonists in the sector who contribute to making and selling French wine.
The new rules have been validated by France’s Department for Competition, Consumption and Combating Fraud (DGCCRF). French wine contests that are registered in accordance with the decree of 13 February 2013 are listed in the Bulletin Officiel de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes.
The list of contests is updated every month and can be consulted on the DGCCRF website. Click on "Consulter la rubrique des BOCCRF", then click on the most recent edition, then click on "Liste des concours vinicoles français...".