The next time you buy a bottle of wine for your at-home bar, let’s make it an award-winning one recommended by some of the best wine experts in the country.
Now in its fourth year, the USA Wine Ratings is known internationally for recognizing and awarding those wines that would be a great buy for consumers. While many competitions focus solely on only the quality of the wine, the USA Wine Ratings also takes into consideration all the major factors we look at before picking a wine off the shelves. The three parameters are quality, value, and packaging.
USA Wine Ratings 2021: judging by packaging
How do you know that the competition is worth its salt? The judging panel at the USA Spirits Ratings brings together some of the country’s top retail buyers, renowned Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, sommeliers, and other industry experts. These experts have been in the industry for decades, and know exactly what we would like to drink next.
Tim Hanni MW, the USA's first Master of Wine, judging at the USA Wine Ratings 2021
This year, the USA Wine Ratings invited 12 Masters of Wine to judge the competition, along with top retail buyers and other experts. From the classic wine regions like Italy, Spain, France, to lesser-known wine regions now establishing themselves like Portugal and Moldova - the judges tasted and judged over a thousand wines.
“I loved tasting the Moldovan wines and the Iberian rosés; the diversity within the groups was great. I also enjoyed the American (non-West Coast) wines. Good for them! Some are better than others but all are the products of real effort,” says Kryss Speegle MW, judge at the 2021 USA Wine Ratings.
The highest pointer at the competition was Australia’s Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz, which was awarded a total of 97 points. This shiraz from Down Under was also crowned Wine of the Year, Best in Show by Country, and Best in Show by Varietal, a testament to the excellent quality of Australian wines. The Shottesbrooke Vineyards grabbed the title of Winery of the Year.
USA Wine Ratings' 2021 Wine of the Year
Judges at the competition described this wine to be ‘a juicy red wine with ripe, almost dried plums, blueberries, bing cherries, and bramble, with marked toasted wood spice and light coffee notes. There is a floral violet overtone’.
Murviedro Pasión White by Spanish winery Bodegas Murviedro, S.A. was next in line, earning 96 points for its quality, value, and packaging. The wine was also awarded Best in Show by Country and Best in Show by Varietal, making it both the best Spanish wine of the year and best Chardonnay of the year.
Wines from Portugal took home over 70 medals, with Quinta d'Aguieira Red 2017 leading the way, winning 95 points Best Wine by Quality. A wine region that is becoming more familiar to us in recent years has also shown a rapid incline in producing wines of great quality.
Top winners at the USA Wine Ratings
Wine of the Year - Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz
Winery of the Year - Shottesbrooke Vineyards
Best Wine by Quality - Quinta d'Aguieira Red 2017
Best Wine by Value - Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Wine by Packaging - Quest One Du Toitskloof Wines
Best wines by Country
Australia - Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz
Spain - Murviedro Pasión White
Italy - Recchia
Portugal - Quinta d'Aguieira Red 2017
United States - Diora La Belle Fête Rosé
Moldova - Alb de Purcari
France - Louis Latour 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
South Africa - Quest One Du Toitskloof Wines
Argentina - Cuvelier Los Andes / Grand Vin
Germany - Fontaine de Chocolat
New Zealand - Spy Valley
Chile - Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon
Best wines by Varietal
Shiraz - Shottesbrooke Reserve Series 'Eliza' Shiraz
Chardonnay - Murviedro Pasión White
Pinot Noir - Saddlebred Cellars Pinot Noir
Tempranillo - Ochoa Calendas Tinto
Cabernet Sauvignon - St. Francis Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Riesling - 310 Altitudine Traminer
Fortified wine - Fontaine de Chocolat
Merlot - St. Francis Reserve Merlot
Malbec - Alamos Malbec
Sangiovese - Tintoretto Sangiovese
Sauvignon Blanc - Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Fautor Winery