Bronze medals explained

Wine show panels involve three judges, and usually, there is an unwritten directive of ‘majority rules’. (Photo: AAVWS website)

Bronze medal wines can sometimes be overlooked, but there is top value to be found in this category.

Amongst the fanfare of trophy winning wines and the prestige associated with gold and silver medals, bronze medal winners can be unfairly neglected. But if you are looking for value for money, you will have a large range to choose from in this category.

When looking at bronze medal wines, the price is an important part of the picture.

Now, not all bronze medals are the same. If a wine show uses a 20-point system, a wine will get bronze if it is awarded between 15.5 and 16.9. For the hundred-point system, the range is 85 to 89. At the lower end of the scale, wine judges refer to a ‘basic bronze’, and at the upper range, it is called a high bronze.

These scores are not printed on the medal stickers that adorn the bottles, but you can often find them listed in the wine show catalogues, many of which can be accessed online.

While all bronze medal wines should be good examples of their type, I recommend first looking at the wines which receive a high bronze. A wine that receives 89 is very close to silver, so these are an excellent place to start. As are those with a solid 88.

Wine show panels involve three judges, and usually, there is an unwritten directive of ‘majority rules’. So, a wine with a high bronze just may have had one judge on silver and the other two judges on bronze.

When looking at bronze medal wines, the price is an important part of the picture. At the lower end of the market, they can certainly help you sort through the wheat from the chaff.

The 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show results are released on Friday 10th August. Of course, the trophy winning wines will be magnificent, but these can often be in short supply. By all means, hunt down the gold and silver medallists as they deserve all the glory they receive. But also cast an eye to the worthy bronze medal winners, especially when the price is considered.

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