Wine Show Awards

What exactly does it mean when you see a wine with a medal on it, be it a gold, silver or bronze?

Wine show medals - the best of the best

What exactly does it mean when you see a wine with a medal on it, be it a gold, silver or bronze?

Simply, it means it’s risen to be the among the very best of the wines of that show – no mean feat, regardless of the show. Estimates vary per show, but the general consensus is that to win a bronze medal, the wine will be ranked in the top 20% off all wines entered … certainly not a bad recommendation considering the amount of wineries in the world and the amount of wines entered into a show.

For instance, the Sydney International Wine Competition caps entries to a maximum of 2000, but both the International Wine & Spirits Competition (London) and the San Francisco International Wine Competition can have more than double that – so to emerge as a medal winner amongst those numbers is quite an achievement. 

So how does a wine emerge with bling?

The judging can vary from competition to competition. In some competitions, panels of four or five judges evaluate up to 200 wines daily, usually in batches of  of 10 or 12.  The judges know the category (such as Shiraz above $20) they’re tasting, but not any of the individual wines, which remain a mystery until the end of the competition.  After each batch the judges cast their votes for gold, silver, bronze or no medal. The Gold Medal wines are then tasted to award 'Best of Class.' (A wine that receives a gold medal vote from every judge is awarded a 'Double Gold').

At the Sydney International Wine Competition the judges assess the finalists (Top 20%) alongside appropriate food. In order to judge with food, the judges group the white and the reds into three categories of similar palate weight – lighter, medium and fuller bodied dry whites and dry reds. This means that the Panel is assessing a wine purely as wine, as is done in every other wine show, but then also with food.

That means the Top 20% of wines have now been judged three times, the total scores aggregated and the top 15% of total entries assessed for their various medal rankings.  

However, if your favourite wine doesn't happen to have a medal stuck on its label it doesn’t mean it’s no good. It might not have even been entered in a wine show in the first place! But what a medal on the front does mean is that many professional wine judges have assessed the wine a number of times, and deemed it medal worthy. A solid recommendation in anyone’s book … like the wines in the Award Winning Dozen below.

All of them have scooped awards or high rankings from some of the best judges in the country. These award-winning wines are from some of the finest regions in Australia including the Langhorne Creek, Mount Benson, Adelaide Hills and more. Collectively they’ve won 29 wine show medals, proving what a superb case it is, especially for the price of just $15 a bottle by the case! Get yours while stocks last … 

File under:

  • Wine Shows
  • Wine Judging