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!
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.
- 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.
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:
- Initial judging of wines
- Gold Medal: 95-96 points
- Silver Medal: 90-94 points
- Bronze Medal: 86-89 points
- All Gold Medal wines are re-tasted and the best awarded Platinum medals
- Platinum Medal: 97-100 points
- 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.
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
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