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The Decanter Magazine

Decanter Awards

Every year, the Decanter World Wine Awards are hosted by the British Decanter Magazine, which is available in 90 countries. The Decanter Magazine, founded in 1975, is one of the most renowned wine magazines worldwide and is considered to be compulsory reading amongst critics and gourmets alike. The monthly magazine contains news about international wine topics, producers, winemakers and wineries, vintages and wine recommendations, tastings, auctions and wine blogs.

The Decanter Tasting

Hundreds of noble bottles are handed in to be rated at the Decanter World Wine Awards every year. Each wine has to undergo a preliminary rating before they reach the official stage. The wines are then divided into country, region, colour, grape varieties, style, vintage and price and tasted individually – the judges only know region, style and price. A region or category specialist heads each group as the expert on the subject. The judge panel is selected from the best winemakers, wine merchants and wine critics. The rating system of Decanter is a dual one: It uses a 20 point scoring system and a 100 point scoring system. This approach ensures that all readers understand and are able to follow the rubric. The rubric is as follows:

Decanter Gold: 18.5 – 20 points / 95 – 100 points

Decanter Silver: 17 – 18.4 points / 90 – 94 points

Decanter Bronze: 15.5 – 16.9 points / 85 – 89 points

Decanter Commended: 14.5 – 15.4 points / 81 – 84 points

Besides the Decanter medals, there are also trophies which are initially awarded on a regional level and ultimately on an international level for the absolute top wines of the competition. Wines without a particular medal which are nevertheless considered as recommendable due to their unique and exciting character or a high development potential, receive the Commended Medal.

How One Tasting Changed the (Wine) World

The competition was founded in 2004 by the renowned British wine critic Steven Spurrier and belongs to the most famous wine competition worldwide. In the wine world, Steven Spurrier is – at least since the wine rating in the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris in 1976 – the authority. The wine merchant Steven Spurrier gathered a group of eleven wine connoisseurs including nine top class judges from France. They arranged a blind tasting in which top quality wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux as well as high level wines from California were tasted. To the dismay of the French, several wines from California were rated higher than the wines from France. Two American wines were even considered to be the best two wines. For a moment, the wine world was turned on its head.


Go to the Decanter medal awarded wines or back to overview.

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