Naked Wines is without doubt one of the most innovative retailers in the UK (they’ve won awards to prove it). They recently introduced their most ambitious competition to date: #ZerotoHero with the goal of “Unearthing the world’s most talented, undiscovered winemakers” – a big task for sure!
Over 6 months, 6 tastings, covering 6 winemaking regions, invited customers (Angels) taste the wines and democratically choose a favourite. The winning wine receives a £50K investment and is featured in Naked’s weekly Marketplace offering.
The six winners then go to a grand finale where the wine receiving top marks wins a $500,000 investment contract! Not too shabby.
On Tuesday I attended the second of 6 tastings and joined a group of 30 wine lovers to discover a winner at the historic Vintner’s Hall, the hallowed home of the wine industry in London.
Our task was to taste the 41 blind samples from wineries around the UK and find one worthy of £50,000.
I was really excited about this challenge – I’m hugely enthusiastic about the wines from the UK – there are some really excellent wines being made here so I was looking forward to an interesting range.
Many of the best from the UK are sparkling wines – our climate isn’t all that different from the sparkling wine mecca across the Channel – Champagne – and the soils are very similar too so our chances to make stellar wine are very good – and so we are!
The first wine was poured and off we went. About a quarter of the wines were sparkling and while some were a bit sharp and acidic and others were commercially sweet, there were a few that were really lovely and worth a swallow instead of a spit!
Little did we know at the time that we’d had the best of the lot, but as we went on to whites and a handful of reds, we quickly realized our winner would probably be a fizz.
After a show of hands in favour of each wine, there was an overwhelming and unanimous winner – #12! The blind tasting bag was quickly ripped away to reveal the Bolney Estate Rose 2009! The Bolney wines have won a lot of awards, and the 2008 vintage of the Rose won a Silver medal in the English & Welsh Wine of the Year competition, a Bronze from both Decanter and the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition)!
And now, today, it is available to be delivered to your door through the Naked Wines Marketplace!
Next month we’ll be searching for the best winemaker from Chile so stay tuned!
A bit more about Naked Wines
You may already be familiar with Naked Wines, but for those who aren’t, here’s a quick run down of their unique approach…
They have customers called “Naked Angels” who pay £20 each month into their wine account which accrues and is there ready and waiting for them when they need to order wine. As thanks for being an Angel, the customers are given a discount on all wines they purchase – there is never a requirement to buy (it’s not a wine club, a case of wine will never turn up at your door unsolicited, it has to be ordered by the customer) and Angels can get their money back at any time.
The cash generated from the Angels (while sitting in their wine accounts) is used to fund winemakers around the world who are making interesting, quality wines, but who simply don’t have the resources to get wide scale distribution. Naked invests in these passionate winemakers and helps with everything from buying necessary equipment to advising on ways to improve the final product.
Just this week Naked Wines has announced that they are taking their hugely successful business model to Australia and the States! Global domination is surely within reach!
Here’s to trying something new, learning something new and enjoying every glass a whole lot more!
Tara – Wine Passionista