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Helen McGinn to chair Wine Stars Awards

Published:  04 March, 2019

Author, columnist and blogger Helen McGinn is to take on the role of competition chair at Harpers Wine Stars Awards.

McGinn, who has built an impressive freelance career as author of The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club blog and book, also penning a weekly wine column for the Daily Mail and appearing as the resident wine expert on ITV’s This Morning, will be fronting up Wine Stars as the competition continues to grow.

“When asked to get involved with Wine Stars, what really appealed to me was the idea of wines being judged by buyers on all aspects - quality, design and value for money - along with detailed feedback for producers,” said McGinn of her new role.

Harpers Wine Stars Awards is unique among wine competitions as the wines are judged by buyers for buyers, taking blind-assessed quality as the starting point, but then adding two further stages for consideration with additional rounds of judging assessing the wines for value for money and then design and packaging - an holistic approach mirroring the way buyers buy wines.

McGinn herself is as ex-Tesco buyer, having spent the best part of a decade at the multiple, where she also worked with producers from around the world developing brands for the UK market.

In addition, McGinn has been an international wine judge for over 20 years, with both these facets of her career meaning that she will be bringing in-depth experience to the role as chair at Harpers Wine Stars Awards.

“As an ex-supermarket buyer, I understand the challenges of making a wine stand out in a crowded market place. It’s more important than ever for producers to know what buyers are looking for and, as a buyer, a Wine Stars tasting is a great opportunity to unearth hidden gems from a diverse range of origins and styles,” said McGinn.

The next round of Wine Stars judging will take place on Thursday 4 April, where several new categories will be among the flights, with England and Wales, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon all under the judges’ noses.