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Drinks cabinet: You're onto a winner with top-scoring wines

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Director’s Cut Chardonnay 2012, California, USA £21.99, seabrookwines.co.uk

Director’s Cut Chardonnay 2012, California, USA £21.99, seabrookwines.co.uk

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Chene Bleu Rosé 2013, Provence, France, RRP £17.99

Chene Bleu Rosé 2013, Provence, France, RRP £17.99

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Tesco Finest Grand Cru Vintage Champagne 2007, France £24.99, Tesco

Tesco Finest Grand Cru Vintage Champagne 2007, France £24.99, Tesco

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Director’s Cut Chardonnay 2012, California, USA £21.99, seabrookwines.co.uk

Critics are fizzing with excitement over who's going to carry home the iconic statuettes on the biggest night of the awards season. But it's not just trophy winners at the Oscars that encourage us to raise a glass.

According to the International Wine Challenge (IWC), top-scoring wines endorsed with a medal sticker on a prize bottle not only increase sales by an average of 15%, but also encourage shoppers to spend a little extra to get their hands on an award-winning wine.

The survey, carried out in two leading supermarkets, revealed eye-catching Gold, Silver, Bronze and commended medal stickers, bearing the prestigious wine competition's seal of approval, have a powerful impact on buying behaviour.

Whether it's a stamp or an endorsement, these shiny accolades influence demand and offer a guiding hand to the best in show ...

A SPARKLING PERFORMANCE

Testament to how supermarket own-label champagnes can be just as dazzling as those from well-established houses, Tesco Finest Grand Cru Vintage Champagne 2007, France (£24.99, Tesco) is an IWC Gold medal winner. Produced for them by Union Champagne, a co-operative whose members own some of the region's best plots, its made using 100% chardonnay from the Cotes de Blanc. With satisfying depth of flavour, it's ripe and toasty with a creamy edge to the fine, citrus fruit and impressive finesse on the finish.

BEHIND THE SCENES

If you're more accustomed to Francis Ford Coppola's films than his impressive portfolio of wines, then its worth checking out the five-time Oscar winner's Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay 2012, Russian River Valley, California, USA (£21.99, seabrookwines.co.uk). An IWSC Trophy winner (International Wine & Spirit Competition), judges said the wine had "subtle creamy aromas with touches of white peach and walnut with a lingering mineral back note". Coppola has been making wines for nearly 40 years and if you love a rich chardonnay with an opulent overlay of sweet oak, this is the wine for you.

BENCHMARK ROSE

Voted the best rose in the world by an expert panel of judges (trade and press) in a blind tasting, the top-scoring wine was Chene Bleu Rose 2013, Provence, France (RRP £17.99). Not surprisingly, the top 11 wines were all from the Provence region and the top five were all from the 2013 vintage. In terms of quality, freshness was key, a pale colour was an asset and tasters were looking for texture rather than weight. Beautiful and graceful, this rose is a leading lady.

IN MEMORIAM

In recognition of its 60th anniversary, the latest vintage of Torres Sangre de Toro 2013, Spain (RRP £7.99) has had a makeover and the new design closely resembles the original bottle which made its debut in 1954. Torres were voted the World's Most Admired Wine Brand 2014 and this easy drinking, superlicious red has won numerous awards. Made from a blend of garnacha and carinena, it's overflowing with ripe, juicy black fruit, warm, earthy notes and fine-grained tannins on the finish.

Belfast Telegraph