Australian wine fans may have noted over the last several years that some of the gold, silver and bronze stickers that adorn an Aussie wine label brag about awards that seem at best bizarre and at worst totally suspect. Finding a wine that was a gold medal winner at Grandma Nicky's Barbeque, for example, might not carry with it the prestige you had hoped. In order to combat the recent explosion in obscure wine awards running rampant through the Australian marketing industry, The Winemakers Federation of Australia has decided to self-regulate. From here on out, vintage gold, silver and bronze discs would be allowed only on wine which received an award at an open, objective and independent competition.
The current wine boom is not unlike past booms (the 90's coffee boom, the recent cigar boom) in that there are just as many shady marketing gimmicks that enter the playing field as there are legitimate high-class producers selling a great product for a cheaper price. Consumers have access to more great wine than ever before, but they also have to sift through more to get to those wines.
At least now we don't have to worry about being distracted by the gold medal winners from Aunt Ida's Dinner Party.