Judging Process

Judging Process

Judging criteria

To win a USA Wine Ratings award, you will need to score highly in all three areas of our judging criteria. You might have an outstanding quality wine, but if the price and packaging is not right, you will not be recognized by the USA Wine Ratings.

There is no point, for example, in having a 95 point wine if it does not look good or offer consumers great value for money. Those points mean it will remain highly respected within the trade, but it will also remain largely unsold on the shelf or languishing on a restaurant’s wine list.

Scoring system

That is why the USA Wine Ratings will be decided based on the following judging formula:

Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = USA Wine Ratings Score.

A separate weighted score will be given for each of the three parts of the judging process. The scores will be added up to give a final score from which individual prizes will be awarded.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 50

Value Score: will be marked out of 25

Package Score: will be marked out of 25


Gold: to receive a Gold medal you need to score 90 or over.


Silver: you need to score between 80-89.


Bronze: you need to score between 70-79.
 

Who are our judges?

The USA Wine Ratings will be assessed and judged by a leading panel of top-level wine buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility. Or wine consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new wine brands or buying wine for commercial resale.

The list of judges will be drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality and the travel industry. 

Judging procedure

All wines entered will be handled by Northwest Distribution and Storage,Inc. and organized into flights for tasting.

The wines will:

- Initially be tasted blind to determine its quality and drinkability.

- Where appropriate they will also be assessed by variety, style, region, and country.

- Judges will then determine the value score of the wine based on the quality and its retail price.  

- The judges will then be handed the bottle or format for them to be able to assess, in detail, the design, label, and packaging and determine how well that matches up to, or complements the quality of the wine and its price point. It is how the product is perceived when placed on the wine shelf among thousands of other wines.

- The judges can discuss the wine as a whole to help allocate scores in the three judging areas however each judge will give its independent score and a weighted average will be taken at the end.

Judging dates

Judging will take place on July 21, 2019, in the US. To be considered in the contest, all products must be with Northwest Distribution and Storage,Inc. by June 30 2019.