trophyWhen was the last time you didn't have to pay for your wine? Some ago I'll bet. Wine lovers often get given bottles of wine as presents but as these are usually something top-notch and expensive it doesn’t make financial sense to replace them using your own money. But there is a way of boosting the wine rack contents for free - entering competitions with wine prizes.

Choose the right competition and winning one or six bottles of wine is a real possibility. Usually the prizes for many magazine, newspaper or website competitions are made up of newly launched ranges that wine companies are trying to get noticed. But when the answers to the one or two usually very simple wine questions nestle somewhere in the text above the entry form it seems rude not to enter.

Magazines posted out to supermarket loyalty card holders are a good place to look for wine prize competitions, as well as those quickly thrown away free papers shoved through the letterbox - so few people enter these that the chances of winning are always pretty good.

Rather than listing prices and tasting notes, this week I'll help you get started finding wine-prize competitions. If the bug hits, and it has for me, then you'll be able to call yourself not only a wine fan but a 'comper'.

Online competitions

Win 6 bottles of Namaqua wine

Simple multiple-choice question to answer. Closing date today, 12th May.

http://www.angliacooperative.co.uk/food/competition.aspx

Win £1000 worth of wine from newly-launched Waitrose Cellar

Runners up receive £500 worth of wine. Closing date 10th June. Link to competition at bottom of page. Just enter your contact details.

http://www.waitrosecellar.com/

Win a bottle of Piper Heidsieck champagne

No closing date shown. Just enter your contact details.

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/promotions/piperheidsieck/competition

Win Berry Bros and Rudd wine club membership for 6 months plus dinner for 4

Multiple-choice question to answer. Closing date 29th May.

http://www.timeout.com/london/food-drink/win-berry-bros-rudd-wine-club-membership-and-dinner-for-four

Win 6 bottles of Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2012

Closing date 25 June. Just enter your contact details.

http://www.frenchentree.com/magazine/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=50134

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk