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What do all those medals mean?




Ever wondered what those Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on your wine bottle really mean? We take you inside the wine show judging criteria to reveal what makes a wine a winner!

Often when shopping for wine, you’ll see bottles spangled with shiny medals on their labels. The idea is to communicate that you’re picking a winner – but what do those medals actually mean? Are they an accurate assessment of the quality of the wine in your hand?

As a matter of fact, it’s a significant achievement for a wine to win a Gold medal at a wine show. It’s a statement that that wine is indeed an example of quality winemaking. And the criteria against which those wines are earned are indeed significant.

At wine shows, wines are tasted blind, which means that all factors that could lead to bias (like the label and price) 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.

To achieve a Gold medal score, 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.

When it comes to assessing wines, the Australian wine show circuit uses the 20-point system, awarding points in the following fashion: 3 for appearance, 7 for the nose and 10 for the palate. Scores are then added, and medals awarded for Bronze, Silver, and Gold as follows:

If winning a medal is a big deal, 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.


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  1. Al;l pretentious non sence.
    Taste is like beuaty to be found in the palate of the beholder.

    What you like someone else thinks is crap.
    You might like fish whereas I couldn’t give a stuff for it and would rather eat mutton.
    Just as some Asians eat rice and some whaet based product.
    Depends where your ancestors came from and the mix of your DNA.
    Fortunatley I don’t need to like what you like.

    White wine has implications for womens reproductive systems.
    Red wine has benefits for everyones health.
    Each to thier own.



  2. Wine does amazing things. Many years ago in the Wairarapa there was a service town in the lower Wairarapa known as Martinborough. Within its boundaries lived normal working people such as shearers, drivers, mechanics, butchers & bakers. A couple of well patronised hotels (who remembers the Pukemanu, the subject of an early TV soap), well supported volunteer ambulance & fire brigade, sports teams & service clubs.

    Then (drum roll) some wanker planted a few grapes & the town took off. Nowadays the footpaths are chocker with pretentious Wellingtonians sipping lattes & gargling pinot noir. The houses where families once lived are weekenders for overpaid civil servants…….their former occupants have cashed up & left. Workers commute from lowly Featherston & there’s barely anyone resident in the town to man the fire brigade. Wine buffs assemble in the weekend to get trashed & rut in the gutters. Soon it will be known as Waihinga as the woke get their way.

    Oh for the honesty of Lion Brown in jugs & a town full of real people.



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