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What wine do women want?

Published:  23 July, 2008

An Australian wine show has announced a controversial new trophy - The Wine Women Want - following a run of what may be deemed sexist wine competitions.

Basing its inaugural award on the fact that, in every major demographic, women are the household decision-makers and the wine purchase is often left to them, the organisers of the Brisbane Fine Wine Festival are certain to spark discussion.

The idea came from wine store owner Manda Duffy after reading about the first National Women's Wine Competition in Santa Rosa, California in March, co-chaired by Margrit Biever Mondavi.

The Women and Wines of the World International Competition in Monaco in April followed soon after. Both feature all-female judging panels and aim to highlight the role of women in the wine industry at an international level as well as the power of women as wine consumers.

The Brisbane Fine Wine Festival had a unisex judging panel rating the 540 wines entered. Then, a cross-section local women not in the wine industry, blind-tasted the top 16 highest-scoring gold medals to determine The Wine Women Want trophy.

The 2005 Chteau Tanunda "Terroirs of the Barossa" Lyndoch Shiraz took the prize.

Research shows that in the past 20 years women have replaced men as the dominant wine buyers for home consumption in the UK, responsible for 68% of supermarket wine purchases.