After Masút Pinot Noir earned a Gold medal at the Sakura Women's Award in March 2017, I became a bit greedy and decided to apply to more wine competitions. I realized that this type of activity certainly helps to get the name out. A friend of mine suggested that I apply to an event called "Drink the Best Wine in Japan." This contest, with a pretty drastic name, has been held seven times, but I had never heard of it before. She recommended it because the wine gets to be judged separately by a group of 10 professionals and a group of 80 wine enthusiasts. What a professional thinks is good does not always get the same score from the wine lovers, so I thought this might be a good, next competition for our wine. I applied to the competition in March, with the results expected to be announced in May 2017, but I had totally forgotten about it by April.
One morning in May, I got a phone call from Fujita Kanko, a big tourist company which owns hotels and restaurants nationwide. I picked up the phone wondering why a tourist company would want to talk to me. The guy on the phone said " Congratulations! The wine you entered won a medal!" WHAT? SERIOUSLY?, I asked. Then he asked me a few questions and instructed me in a few things, which I was no longer listening to because of all of the excitement rushing through my body. I hung up the phone and practically start skipping with joy around the office and then suddenly, I realized that I had forgotten to ask him the color of the medal we earned. Then the conversation started coming back to me...didn't he say that we will get to have a booth and pour our wine at the party for the commendation ceremony in July? Doesn't that mean we scored pretty well? So I went to their web page and found that Masút had won the platinum award for the Full Body Red Wine category, and not just one medal but two platinum medals one from the professionals and one from the wine enthusiasts! Nooooo way!!! That's just not possible!! I must be dreaming or something😮😮😮 WOWOWOW!!! Then I got totally freaked out, my mind was blown away.
I couldn't work that day. lol. I made calls to my boss and friends who have been supportive. Thanks to my boss, I could chill a bit after I spoke with him because he was more excited than I was. When it comes to reaction, Americans are the best!
For a long time, I didn't have confidence with regard to selling this wine or any wine. I'd never tried to sell wine before. Even though Masút was very well received in America and I love Masút, every one is so different and we all have different preferences. At first, it was difficult for me to accept that Japanese wine consumers would feel exactly the same way about Masút as the Americans did. When you are not confident about something, it is easy for you to become negative. So even though some people said nice things about our wine, I got in the habit of thinking, "They are just being nice." And when some people expressed to me that they didn't really appreciate Masút, I got into the habit of thinking that I had made a huge mistake and I started to get depressed about my choices and situation. When I agreed to start promoting and selling wine I accepted a huge burden and coming to terms with this reality has been very challenging for me on both a personal and professional level. I put quite an effort into getting the import license in place. Then while working on my wine accreditation, I actually imported the wine, but I have been regretting the challenges this decision has brought every day since. I have felt like a novice swimmer who has suddenly found herself in the deepest part of the ocean and with no sign of the shoreline in sight. I've wet my pillow several times, and I assure you it was not always saliva.
And now suddenly all of this good news pours down on me. Masút is winning platinum medals from both the professionals and the wine enthusiasts in this contest, and this time, the awards really mean a lot to me. Winning this contest, in this way, has completely relieved my mind and given me a kind of confidence about this wine and selling this wine, that I could not have gained any other way. This contest has giving me the assurance that this wine we brought to Japan is a great wine. I haven't felt so happy in years and that feels great!