How to win wine and influence people

listWhen was the last time you didn't have to pay for your wine? Round about the the month of December I'll bet. Wine lovers often get bottles of wine as Christmas presents and I was no exception. My gift bottle tasted delicious but I won't be replacing it using my own money as it is just too expensive. In the 2011 economy drive I need to find another way of boosting the wine rack contents for free. And I've found the answer – entering competitions.

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

Loquax, the UK Prizes Directory

www.loquax.co.uk/competitions/prizedir.htm

One of the biggest online competition prize 'portals'. Here you'll find links to hundreds of competitions. Use the Prize Directory link to hone straight in on competitions with Drink prizes – currently there are 56 with wine, beer and spirit prizes.

Competitions on Twitter

www.twitter.com/janesgrapevine

Follow the editor of the monthly magazine The Competition Grape Vine and she’ll let you know about competitions running on Twitter, plus offer hints and tips on how to enter online competitions.

Win 6 bottles of Mont Tauch Fitou

http://www.mont-tauch.com/english/free-wine-competition.asp

Monthly competition. Answer three multiple-choice questions – answers are all on their website. Prize draw the first week of each month.

Win 6 bottles of Jacob's Creek

http://www.smoothradiouk.co.uk/competitions-offers/win-a-crate-of-jacobs-creek-wine/hap9tyde/

One simple multiple choice question. Closing date April 17th.

Win a wine tasting masterclass with Susy Atkins

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/promotions/8411229/Win-a-wine-and-canapes-masterclass-with-Susy-Atkins.html

Win  a masterclass on wine and gastronomy for you and 5 friends in your own home. Closing date April 9th.