What Makes an Award Winning Wine?
Have you ever wondered what do those Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on some wine bottles actually mean?
Join Wine Selectors Co-Chair and Wine Show Judge, Adam Walls, as he delves into the mysterious world of wine show judging to reveal what makes a wine an award-winner.
Plus, check out our Aglow With Gold Winter 2023 Catalogue that’s absolutely bursting at the seams with superb Gold medal-winning Australian wines that you’re guaranteed to love.
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WHAT DO MEDALS SYMBOLIZE?
The reason behind the medals on wine bottles is to communicate that you’re picking a winner from an Australian or international wine show – but what do each of the medals mean? And are they an accurate assessment of the quality of the wine you’re considering?
It's a great achievement for a wine to win a Gold medal at an Australian wine show. It's a statement that the wine is indeed an example of quality winemaking. And the criteria against which those wines are earned are indeed significant.
At wine shows, all wines are tasted blind, which means that all factors that could lead to bias (like the label and RRP) are hidden. Vintage and variety or varieties are the only information identified – the rest is up to the expertise of the judging panel’s palate.
HOW IS WINE JUDGED USING THE MEDAL SYSTEM?
When it comes to assessing wines, like our Wine Selectors Tasting Panel, the Australian wine show circuit uses the 20-point system, awarding points in the following fashion: points out of 3 for appearance, points out of 7 for the nose and, points out of 10 for the palate. Scores are then added, and medals awarded for Bronze (15.5 to 16.9 – a good wine), Silver (17 to 18.4 – a very good wine) and Gold (18.50 to 20 – an exceptional wine).
The 20 Point system of wine judging.
WHAT MAKES AN AWARD-WINNING WINE?
Join Adam Walls, Wine Selectors Tasting Panel Co-Chair, Wine Show Judge, and Dux 2019 Len Evans Tutorial, as he discusses what it takes be a champion Gold medal-winning wine
WHAT DOES A GOLD MEDAL WINE MEAN?
To achieve a Gold medal score, 18.5 to 20, the wine must appeal to the entire judging panel, meaning Gold is only awarded if there is unanimous consensus among judges as to the wine’s quality. The judging process is rigorous, involving multiple re-tastings and much discussion.
Judges work to ensure only the very best wines are awarded Gold. It’s not always the most expensive wines that win, either. The wines that are awarded Gold are held up as benchmarks for other winemakers to aspire to. Medals might be awarded for how well they express the varietal or regional character, or the value they represent at their price point.
Winter Catalogue 2023 is out Now, brimming at the seams with all Gold Medal Winning wines.
WHAT IS THE HIGHEST RATING A WINE CAN GET?
So, if winning a Gold medal is a big deal, what is the highest rating a wine can get? To win a Trophy is an even bigger feat. When a wine is awarded a Trophy at a wine show, it means it is literally the very best of all of the Gold medal-winners in its class or category – the best of the best, however, sometimes a Trophy is not awarded in each class.
WHAT IS THE 100-POINTS WINE RATING SYSTEM?
Some wine critics use the 100-point system, especially in the USA, where Robert Parker and Wine Spectator use this method. Scoring for this system is as follows: Gold medal is awarded for wine receiving 100 – 95 points, Silver to 94 – 90, and Bronze to 89 – 85 points.
In Australia, the 100-point system is used by some wine writers like Rob Geddes and James Halliday, however, James Halliday’s system ranges from 75 to 100.
WHY DO WINE SELECTORS USE THE AUSTRALIAN 20-POINT WINE SHOW SYSTEM?
While these rating systems can be a little confusing and no one system it better than the other, their aim is the same, to reflect the quality of the wine.
At Wine Selectors we use the 20-point Australian wine show judging system which hails from Europe and the UK and is used by the world’s most reputable wine writer and critic, Janis Robinson MW (Master of Wine). Historically, it is the system Australian wine has been judged by and for our Panellists, it ensures a reliable result. You can be assured at Wine Selectors that of the thousands of wines our Panel tastes every year, (in fact our Tasting Panel reviews around 3,500 wines every year), only the very best get through the rigorous selection process.
DO WINE AWARDS REALLY MEAN ANYTHING?
Yes, they do! Far from being a mere promotional tool, the medals, and awards on your bottle of Australian wine – particularly those from Australian wine shows – are a guarantee that the wine you’re about to enjoy is among the best.
Treat yourself to a taste of award-winning Australian wine and secure your favourites from our 2023 Winter Catalogue – Aglow with Gold. Featuring Gold and Trophy medal-winning wines from across the country, it really is something extra special. Savour wines from some of Australia’s finest winemakers at the top of their craft, experience the best, and warm your winter! But hurry, stock is limited.