We did the hard part – narrowing the list to 40 candidates. Here’s a quick look at the “WOTY” selection process.
It’s like the Oscars for winemakers – and you’re the academy! Wine of the Year is a way to recognize the top-performing, highest-rated, and most beloved wine projects available at Naked – and it’s a first in 2022.
First, it’s important to note that we’ve done Winemaker of the Year contests before, but this product-led version is a Naked first! And it’s overdue.
With customer support, there’ve been hundreds of “wine moments” that have catapulted the success of deserving winemakers, regions, and varieties worldwide – and this competition was born to celebrate those standouts.
Narrowing the Wine Competition
Wine of the Year will kick off with 40 total nominees -with 8 wines selected per category:
- Best Sparkling of the Year
- Best Top-Shelf Red of the Year
- Best Red of the Year
- Best White of the Year
- Best Rosé of the Year
Here’s a fun stat: we fund 96 indie winemakers at Naked, and they each offer at least one style (sometimes close to a dozen!). That means Angels make a lot more than 40 real winners possible each year.
In fact, in 2021, our Angels brought over 400 distinct wine brands to life. That makes the top 10% selection process delicious, but difficult.
So here’s a look at how we did the hard work to whittle down a list of inaugural nominees for the coolest wine competition around.
This was a job the data, wine, and marketing teams took very seriously – it involved a lot of reporting, pivot tables, and bar charts. We’ll spare you the tech run down, but share the 5 bits of criteria used to build our 2022 list of nominees:
The Five Rules:
1: Release date. To qualify for a nomination in 2022, Wine of the Year candidates’ wines must have been released and available for sale on nakedwines.com between Feb 1, 2021, and Feb 1, 2022.
2: Customer rating. At the time of selection, the wine needed to have an 87% buy-it-again (BIA) rating or higher. This percentage is determined by Angels who have purchased the vintage and given it their own personal thumbs up.
3: Rating stability. To be eligible, the wine needed to have 300 ratings or more. For the top-shelf category (these wines are naturally limited, so ratings are harder to accumulate!) the wine needed to have 100 total ratings or more. This ensures the buy-it-again rating is solid as a selection tool.
4: State availability. Both international and domestically-produced wines were eligible (so a Pacific Northwest Pinot can win just as easily as a Gran Reserva Malbec in Argentina!).
5: Some of our wines come in as special one-off releases; side projects from our indie winemakers that were released as one vintage, and available for sale for a limited time. Those wines were ineligible.
Rule 5: And that leads us to our last rule: Program Continuation. We want Angels to be able to enjoy our Wine of the Year winning wines for many years to come, so wines that are nominated, in majority, will be coming back for future vintages.
The Wine of the Year Winner’s Circle
As the competition kicks off this July and culminates in October, we’ll be asking for your help to narrow the list down further…
until, by customer vote, we determine the official Wine of the Year – the passion project of an indie winemaker that deserves the ultimate prize!
We’re a customer-funded wine company and these winemakers wouldn’t be here without your support.
So it’s only fair that you get to decide the very best wine made this year – and reflect on dozens of other top-rated styles your support and ratings catapulted into Naked’s 2022 hall of fame.
Be sure to vote early and often and keep checking back for our Finalists, Category Winners, and official Wine of the Year decision this summer and fall.
👉Did you spot a few of our favorite wines on the nominees’ list this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!