Thu 17 Jul 2014

A Trio of Wine ‘Oscars’: 2014 International Wine Challenge


International Wine Challenge 2014 Wine Club of the YearLast night the ‘Oscars of the wine trade’, the International Wine Challenge awards, were held at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

Ten members of Society staff from around the business were there to see The Wine Society awarded

• Wine Club of the Year for the fourth consecutive year
• Specialist Merchant Award for Chile for the eighth time in nine years
• Specialist Merchant Award for Alsace for the seventh consecutive year

In addition, The Society was shortlisted for Direct Merchant of the Year and Specialist Merchant for Portugal.

Head of buying Tim Sykes, campaign manager Yvonne Blandford and chief executive Robin McMillan with the award for 'Wine Club of the Year'

Head of buying Tim Sykes, campaign manager Yvonne Blandford and chief executive Robin McMillan with the award for ‘Wine Club of the Year’

The judges called it ‘a testament to The Society’s extensive range of wines and events, as well as excellent customer service.’

A number of individual Society wines also received awards earlier in the year.

Such recognition is always a pleasure and we would like to thank the IWC. Above all, however, we would like to thank our members for their continued loyalty and support for their Society. We exist purely for members’ benefit and look forward to further enhancing our services in the coming year while continuing to provide the best of the world’s vineyards at the best possible prices.


  1. Michael Culver says:

    Well done and richly deserved

  2. Martin Black says:

    Excellent news. It took me years to discover the Wine Society but I have never regretted it .

    Well done to all those behind the scenes bringing us great wines year after year.

  3. Peter Warby says:

    These awards are well deserved recognition of the consistent standards of The Society and reflect the enormous choices which grow year by year.

  4. Alun Evans says:

    I am a firm supporter of the Wine Society as probably the best value wine retailer but is there much serious competition for us in the world of wine clubs? Would a member of the Wine Society management care to tell us the clubs we were up against?

    • Martin Brown says:

      Thanks very much for your support!
      A good question. This year we were up against the Cellar Club of Berry Bros & Rudd. Previous shortlisted competitors have included Tesco Wine Club, Naked Wines and Laithwaites.

      • richard says:

        how do people even see better than the society. no l am not a member but will be soon,l love wines and l love the info from here.l am disabled but l lose myself in the society and wines.

  5. Leighton Davies says:

    I have been a member of OUR Wine Society for over 30 years, and proud to be so. The awards we have received are testament to the high regard in which The Wine Society is held by its members and experts alike. I and, I am sure, many other members, have never been let down by the quality due to our buyers uncompromising high standards for quality and fantastic value for money. I am going to open a bottle of one of our Society’s wines, freshly deliverd today, to celebrate, and to toast the buyers of our Society’s future success. CHEERS!

  6. James Paterson says:

    Firstly congratulations. It would be interesting to understand the factors why the Society is consistently successful for Chile and Alsace but not other niche areas and whether there is any appetite to be more ambitious, say Beaujolais, South Africa, New Zealand?

    • Ewan Murray says:

      Thanks for your question. The International Wine Challenge restricts each participating wine merchant to entering just four regional Specialist Categories. Given our historic success with both Alsace & Chile, we persist with those two, and vary the remaining two each year. Most, though not all, regions are represented in the competition, and for the last three years we have entered for Portugal (success in 2012 & 2013 but not 2014). This year we also entered Spain. We enter those where we believe we have a good chance of winning. If we were allowed to, we would certainly enter more.
      Ewan Murray, PR Manager

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