Naked Wines auction at the Argentina trade tasting
What if you were set loose on a trade tasting with 1000′s of wines to try and you had to pick just 10 to put on your winelist? How do you do it? You could go the old boring route and try all those wines or you could recruit a bunch of willing tasters to pick those wines for you. Which is exactly what Naked Wines did at the recent Wines of Argentina trade tasting.
Naked wines invited 60 of their Naked Angels (people who sponsor and buy wine from specific winemakers on the Naked site) to the Wines of Argentina trade tasting to choose 10 wines out of roughly 100 staff picked wines to add to the Naked Wines website. We were divided up into teams with a list of 25 wines each and set loose on the tasting. We then ranked the wines. The top 10 wines were tried and we then set a price as to how much we would pay for each of those particular wines.
Where does the auction part come in? After the tasting of the top 10 wines, Naked gathers all of our prices and comes up with an average which then becomes the starting price for the wine. There is a £100,000 pot which is divided up amongst the wines based on how close the reps come to Naked’s price. It’s a rather complicated algorithm they use but it gets the job done. The reps are then brought in and the auction begins – Naked makes an offer and the reps counter offer and so on and so forth for about 45 minutes when the auction is declared over and we get to see how much of each wine was bought.
One of my favourite wines at the tasting was La Poderosa 2006 produced by Bodega del Fin del Mundo (which means bottom of the world) in Patagonia. A rich, full bodied red, loads of ripe black fruits and silky smooth, a blend of malbec, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and tannat, it is the powerful one and even though it was an ’06, it still had plenty of va-va-va-vroommmm in it!
I followed this wine through the auction and had a chat with the distributor to see what he thought of the whole concept….