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USA Wine Ratings Announces 2018 Winners


248 Medals Awarded to Wines From All Over the World

San Francisco, California. September 5, 2018 – Beverage Trade Network today announced the results of the 2018 USA Wine Ratings competition. Overall, the panel of judges in San Francisco recognized 248 medal winners in a broad variety of categories, including Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year, Best in Show by Country and Best in Show by Varietal.

The highest-scoring wine in the competition was Reserve Merlot (2015 vintage) by St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma, California, which received 95 out of a possible 100 points. St. Francis Winery also tied for the second highest-scoring wine in competition (2015 Reserve Zinfandel), which resulted in St. Francis Winery also being named 2018 Winery of the Year. Other Gold medal winners at the USA Wine Ratings included wines from Argentina, Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.

Entries in the USA Wine Ratings competition were blind-tasted and judged by a high-profile panel of judges, who assessed the wines in competition on the basis of three primary criteria: Quality,.Value, and Package. All wines were scored on a 100-point scale that assigned relative weights to each of these three criteria. Wines that scored 90+ points were awarded Gold medals, wines that scored 80 to 89 points were awarded Silver medals and wines that scored 70 to 79 points were awarded Bronze medals. Overall, 29 wines received Gold medals, 98 received Silver medals and 99 received Bronze medals.

The USA Wine Ratings was launched in late 2017 by Beverage Trade Network, which organizes wine industry events all over the world. The goal of this event was to judge wines the way consumers judge them. In contrast to other wine competitions, where winemaking ability and technical expertise sometimes receive primary consideration at the expense of drinkability, the goal of the USA Wine Ratings was to award and celebrate the wines that wine drinkers actually want to buy, whether at a retail wine store or ordering off the menu at a restaurant.

“Our goal was to set a very high bar for the types of wines that receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals,” said Sid Patel, CEO, and Founder of Beverage Trade Network. “We worked carefully with the judges on evaluating the criteria of Quality, Value and Package in order to take a consumer-centric view of the top wines in the world. Based on initial feedback we have already received on this judging criteria, we believe that events like the USA Wine Ratings can help to change the paradigm for the global wine industry.”

At this year’s competition, two surprise Gold medal winners included a 2017 Cuvee Dolette from Domeniile Viticole Tohani in Romania (90 points) and a 2016 Tempranillo from Boeger Winery in Colombia (90 points). “The fact that judges were able to recognize these two wines from emerging wine regions is further evidence that our mission of recognizing world-class wines from around the world is already having a real impact,” said Sid Patel of Beverage Trade Network.

Medal Winners

Full List of Winners


Wine of the Year

  • 2015 Reserve Merlot, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Winery of the Year

  • St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Best in Show by Country

  • United States – Windrun Pinot Noir Vintage Selection No. 12, Windrun Wine
  • France – Winemakers Selection Cabernet Franc, UnDouble
  • Argentina – El Capitan Malbec, Finca Adelma
  • Italy – Luna Nuda Rose, Castelfeder Winery
  • Australia – Idlewright, Penrose Hill, Limited
  • Spain – Tomillar Crianza, Virgen de las Vinas
  • New Zealand – Tiki Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Tiki Wine + Vineyards
  • South Africa – Classic Sauvignon Blanc, KWV
  • Chile – Seven Cities, Penrose Hill, Limited
  • Germany – Werner Wermut RG White, CUPF Gmbh

Best Wine of the Year by Quality

  • 2015 Reserve Merlot, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Best Wine of the Year by Value

  • Winemakers Selection Cabernet Franc, UnDouble

Best Wine of the Year by Package

  • Oak Farm Vineyards



USA Wine Ratings is an annual international wine competition organized by Beverage Trade Network. The competition singles out and shines the spotlight on those wine brands that consumers really want to buy and have a clear market value for trade buyers. The wines are judged, scored and awarded based on its quality, value for money and packaging.



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