“The substantial influence of wine competitions like this, where points and medals significantly impact sales”

“The substantial influence of wine competitions like this, where points and medals significantly impact sales”

Pasi Ketolainen is a Master of Wine and sales director with Vinitie Oy, an importer and distributor of high quality wines to first-tier establishments in Finland. Viinitie’s clientele features the best restaurants, hotels and bars in the country, including most of Finland’s Michelin awarded establishments and design hotels.
In 2023, Pasi Ketolainen became a member of the CMB panel and judged for the first time in the competition. He shares his perspective on the importance and purpose of wine competitions, along with his initial impressions of the CMB:

“In terms of scale, the CMB is truly the largest wine competition I’ve seen, with impressive organization and a massive panel of over 350 people representing nearly 50 nationalities.

Speaking from the perspective of the market where I work, in Finland, I would say that these international competitions are not widely known. Nevertheless, discussions with professionals from other markets underscore the substantial influence of wine competitions like this, where points and medals significantly impact sales.

I believe that the CMB should be more proactive in its communication, highlighting the strict criteria for winning medals. It’s a common misconception among professionals that in such competitions everyone receives a medal. This is far from true, especially when you consider that CMB, for instance, awards less than 30% of entries. I think there should be more transparent communication about the significance and purpose of wine competitions, making them more accessible and understandable for consumers.”

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