The Wine Industry’s Dirty Little Secret…

Published by Nicole Russell - 29th Jun 2016

Have you ever walked down the aisles of a bottle shop and wondered how every second wine seems to have won a medal? They can’t all have got 1st place…right?

Wine shows are not the Olympics…
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals on wine bottles DO NOT mean 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The medals reflect a score given by the judges (usually 95+ for Gold, 90+ for Silver and 85+ for Bronze).

In theory, everyone could win a Gold medal (or no one). This means that a Gold medal winner could be the 12th best scoring wine in a category, or that the best wine in a category could be a bronze medal winner.
To top it all off, each competition is between only those paying winemakers who choose to enter, with over 80 shows in Australia alone!
It’s all a little confusing…

What’s the solution? Trust your fellow Angels!

If you want quality, consistent and down to earth reviews and ratings of wine, have a look on the Naked Wines website or download the Naked Wines App – some wines have close to 20,000 ratings from people just like you.
Unlike the same few wine critics we always get told to listen to, the Naked Angels are a broad range of everyday wine drinkers, with no agenda other than wanting great tasting wine at a great price!

Here’s what one of our winemakers, Sam Plunkett thinks about medals…
“Allow me to tell a story about medals. They are great to win, but I try not to pay too much attention to the wins or the losses. Judges do try and be objective, but by its nature wine show judging is subjective and so much depends on that wine on the day in front of a particular set of judges.”

“In 2003 I got a very exciting series of calls from a buddy at the presentation dinner for the Royal Perth Wine Show. During his first call, he was a little happy – we had won the Trophy for best 2001 Shiraz. A little while later came another call, this time pretty happy (happy is code for drunk) reporting that we’d won the Trophy for Best Shiraz of any vintage. At the end of the night, I could only just make out the message that we’d picked up the award for Best Red wine of Show. There were something like 3000 entries and we’d been gonged with Best Red. Outstanding!”

“Next wine show there was also about 3000 entries and the same 2001 Reserve Shiraz didn’t get a trophy, or gold, or silver or a bronze medal! Wine shows are a lottery and we talk about the wins!” – Sam Plunkett