Wine Ratings Explained: How Points For Wine Work

If you’re wondering how wine ratings work, you’re not alone. Have you ever heard someone describe a bottle of wine as being ‘good’? Good is such a relative term for wine, because wine ratings are based on several different factors.

How Wine Ratings Work

Wine ratings look at various characteristics such as color and appearance, aroma and bouquet, and overall flavor and finish. We’ve put together this easy-to-read guide with information on how wine is ranked using both the 100-point scale and the medal system scale. Read on to discover how wine scales work, plus a list of our favorite Cellar Collection award-winning wines!

Award Winning Wine Bottles Lined Up

Points for Wine: Robert Parker Wine Rating

Robert Parker is credited for developing the famous 50-100 point wine scale as we know it today. Parker is one of the world’s most well-known wine critics and the author of the popular ‘Wine Advocate’ monthly mailer. In the 1970s, he created points for wine based on the American Standardized Grading Scale, which is broken down as follows.

Wine Points


  • Classic: a great wine


  • Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style


  • Very good: a wine with special qualities


  • Good: a solid, well-made wine


  • Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws


  • Not recommended

Typically, wines will start at 50 points and are granted additional points for the following: up to 5 points for color and appearance, 15 for nose and aroma, and 20 for flavor (intensity, smoothness, depth, cleanliness). The final 10 points are awarded based on aging and level of quality, and if there is room for potential future improvement.

Two sommeliers, male and female tasting red wine and making notes at degustation card

Blind Taste Medaling

Wines awarded medals (Best in Show, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) are typically chosen by a panel of judges. The Decanter World Wine Awards is one of the most commonly known medal systems.

Judges from around the world including Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers (experts in a specific area such as the Champagne region or Sicilian wines), individually taste wines, compare notes, and come to a general consensus of medal. The judges know the region, style, and price of the wines. Voting is based on the point system and judging is broken down into 3 rounds:

Round 1

  • Initial judging of wines
    • Gold Medal: 95-96 points
    • Silver Medal: 90-94 points
    • Bronze Medal: 86-89 points

Round 2

  • All Gold Medal wines are re-tasted and the best awarded Platinum medals
    • Platinum Medal: 97-100 points

Round 3

  • The Platinum Medal wines are then re-tasted again
  • The ultimate accolade of Best in Show is awarded to the best of the best.

Award-Winning Wines From Our Cellar Collection

We carry a variety of award winning wines at our Wine Cellar Stores and online. When shopping for these wines in-store, read the wine label or check for a sticker on the front of the bottle that indicates the prestige. This may look similar to the below images.

92 Point Award Label Silver Medal Award Label Gold Medal Award Label 88 Point Award Label

Our Cellar team members are more than happy to show you any of our award winning wines!

Here’s a list of our award winning staff favorites:

Manga Del Brujo– 94-Point Spanish Red Blend

Amore Organic Red Blend– 92-Point Spanish Red Blend

Château Le Monteil D’Arsac Haut-Médoc– Two 90+ Point Ratings

Domaine Rabier– Double Gold Medal Rhône Valley Blend

Le Petit Maynne Bordeaux– Silver Medal Bordeaux Blend

Trimboli Salvatore Trebbiano– Gold Medal and Most Exciting In Show Australian White Blend

Stellenrust Heritage Collection Chenin Blanc– 91-Point South African Chenin Blanc

Casa Santos Lima Colossal– 89-Point Portuguese Blend

Lornano Le Macchie Rosato– 95-Point Tuscan Rosato

1913 Sparkling Moscato– 33 Time Gold Medal Winning Sparkling Moscato

1913 Sparkling Brut Rosé– 3 Time Silver Medal Winning Rosé

What Cellar Collection wine are you currently drinking? Share your photos with us! Tag @thewinecellargroup and use #TheWineCellarGroup for a chance to be featured on our page. Join our email list for more fun wine tips, deals, and upcoming events!

Leave A Comment