For wine drinkers Vivino has been a disruptive and democratising force. I have often seen supermarket shoppers whip out their phones to check the rating and flavour profile of a wine before making a purchase. Two heads are better than one so they say, so just think what a community of 54m can do.
The app allows access to a generally agreed conclusion, potentially more in line with the guests around your dinner table than the labelled explanations of the wine producer. Anyone can rate any wine, giving it marks out of five and using whatever language they choose to describe it. Be gone wine snobbery and alienating turns of phrase.
Launched at the end of last year, the Vivino Community Awards seek to champion approachability over exclusivity and is the largest industry awards to be wholly decided not by the professionals, but by those buying and drinking the wine. They are, says Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen, “the world’s most honest wine critics, whose collective opinion, we believe, is more valuable than that of any one expert”.
It will come as no surprise to fans of our own country’s produce that English wines were a leading choice for UK voters. The last couple of years have drawn our focus towards local food and drink and the effect is clear: four of the top ten sparkling wines under £30 came from this little island, proving we can be not only tasty but affordable too.
“We’ve seen a fantastic growth in interest in, and demand for, English and Welsh wines in the last two years, when more and more wine drinkers embraced what is being produced on their doorstep” says Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of Wine GB.
“With plenty of vineyards across the country now open to visitors, wines are now readily available from the cellar door and online as well as on the high street and in restaurants. As a result, sales have been soaring; in 2020 we saw sales rise by 30 per cent and all indications are that further growth was enjoyed last year too”.
Camel Valley’s Cornwall Reserve Brut 2017 and Furleigh’s Estate Classic Cuvée Brut 2014 both beat back global competition but Kent’s Chapel Down takes the crown, securing two wins for its Classic NV Brut and Rosé NV Brut, available from Waitrose for £27.
“These awards demonstrate that participation in the world of wine shouldn’t be limited to any one group” says Zachariassen “There’s a passionate and diverse community of wine lovers on Vivino eager to share their opinions and to find great wines”.