Judging Process

We’re proud of our transparent, independent judging process, which means our competitions are respected by consumers and the trade.

We use only the best judges – Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers. You can find out about some of our most regular judges here. Each of them will assign a score individually and then their panel will discuss each wine to decide the final medal. The wines are judged blind, but the judges have some information to give a fair score:

  • The category of wine (e.g. still, sparkling, fortified etc.)
  • The price bracket
  • The sweetness level
  • Whether the wine is oaked or unoaked
  • Whether the wine is single varietal or blended (in select competitions)

Unlike many competitions which judge en masse during one event, we split the Global Wine Masters into individual competitions throughout the year. This means that wines are always judged against their direct competitors, and keeps our judges’ palates fresh for the competitions.

The judging criteria
We keep things simple in our criteria. Although the wine world is used to points systems, most consumers do not understand how they work. Instead of points, we use medal bands and plain English descriptors, so that drinkers can immediately grasp the wine’s quality and aren’t confused by minute differences in scores. To qualify for a medal, the judges must be satisfied that the wine meets its core criteria.

You can read these below. Although we do not give out scores, we have added the approximate 100 point equivalent as a reference point.

A well-made wine that qualifies for our seal of approval. This wine is enjoyable and meets customer expectations.
(Approximately 85-88 points)
A high-quality wine that clearly demonstrates good winemaking while serving as a good example of its style, source or dominant grape.
(Approximately 89-92 points)
A brilliant wine that is a benchmark for its type. This wine has lasting appeal and shows great balance, complexity and intensity.
(Approximately 93-96 points)
An outstanding example of its type, showing impeccable winemaking. This wine delights for its wonderful texture, perfect balance and broad range of delicious, persistent flavours.
(Approximately 97-100 points)