Italian Wines and their wine awards and ratings explained
Italian wines are notoriously confusing in terms of appellations or categories and there are many different opinion-makers offering recommendations. We asked advice from our friends at Bacco Wines to find out more about the basic terminology and awards, and how not to let all these details overwhelm you when choosing wine. After all, the most important factor in deciding which bottle to try is your own preference. Wine is very personal, hence whether you know a lot about wines or not, trust your palette and choose what you prefer. Having said that – let’s dive into some of these wine awards and ratings.
Wine Awards & Ratings
There are many awards and systems for rating wine, both international and Italian. The international ratings can be a good guide, especially if you are already well-versed in wines from other countries, but it also makes sense to pay attention to wine experts who specialize in Italian wines.
Also, remember that boutique wineries often produce in small quantities, which often means they are not included on (all) lists. This is not a reflection of quality but instead the extent of the wine’s distribution outside of Italy. It is, in fact, this boutique aspect that Bacco Wines’ value and what makes their wine portfolio so exclusive.
At the end of the day. When you buy wine, you should consider a range of ratings and tasting notes. Comparing different opinions can be very useful because wine – once it reaches a certain level of quality – is arguably a very subjective product to analyze. Again, this is why you should buy what you like and not by definition what has the highest ratings or the most awards.
Bacco Wines’ recommendations for awards & ratings to check out
Here are some of the awards and ratings that Bacco Wines’ considers important when choosing wine. We’re highlighting 3 sources here, to see a full list of all 10 that Bacco keeps in mind, check their website.
Every year, the editors at Wine Spectator magazine conduct blind tastings of more than 15,000 wines. They rate “each wine relative to other wines” within the tasting group and use a 100 points system.
Wines rated 50-74 are not recommended and those rated 75-79 are mediocre. A rating of 80-84 means good, a rating of 85-89 means very good and 90-94 is considered outstanding. A wine that hits 95-100 points is considered a classic. You need to subscribe to magazine to see these reviews.
With three decades in the wine industry, including his current role as wine editor for Asia Tatler, James Suckling is a well-known wine expert and more specifically a strong advocate for Italian wine. He uses a 100 points rating system and each wine tasting report (which can be blind or at vineyards) focuses on a region or appellation, listing anything from a dozen to hundreds of wines.
A wine rated less than 85 is not recommended but at 85-89 points it is “worth buying”. A rating of 90 or more is considered outstanding and if it hits 95 points or more, it should be added to your “must buy” list.
The ‘Tre Bicchieri’ (Three Glasses) rating system is used by the Italian food and wine magazine Gambero Rosso every year to rate numerous wines across Italy. A wine that receives 1 glass is considered good but 2 glasses is very good to excellent. If the wine received 2 red glasses it was considered for a position in the top category but didn’t quite make it whereas the 3 red glasses status means the wine made it through the final tasting and is considered an “excellent” wine in its respective category.
The 2017 guide is the 30th edition and is the result of a year’s work by over 60 tasters, coordinated by three curators. They travel around the entire country to taste 45,000 wines, only half of which make it into the guide.
In recognition of the move towards sustainable viticulture, there is also a special ‘Tre Bicchieri Verdi’ award for organic or biodynamic certified wineries. For other Italian product ratings see the Gambero Rosso Three Forks guide to restaurants, Three Beans and Three Cups listing for coffee, and the Three Leaves listing for extra virgin olive oil.
Check out Bacco Wines to see the full list of awards and ratings. Saluti!
Every quarter Bacco Wines organizes a bigger wine tasting whereby they open 20+ wines to try. The next fair is coming up!
Tickets are only $40 for the 4-hour Tasting. Of course, we have a special price for you!
Option 1: Get our book with our shortlist of Singapore’s best restaurants and 2 tickets to Bacco’s Boutique Italian Wine Fair for $99 only. (UP$149).
Option 2: Have our book already and want to join? Get 2 tickets for $55 only instead of $80 when you use voucher TT318 on baccowines.com.
WHEN: Saturday 10 March, 2-6pm
WHERE: The COMMIS café, 46 Kim Yam Road, unit #01-06/07, 46 Kim Yam Road (Robertson Quay area, access from River Valley or Mohd Sultan)
We’re proud to have Bacco Wines as a brand partner for our 2018 Table Tales edition.
Bacco Wines offers you a complimentary members account, worth $88 per year. This entitles you to members prices online and invites you to the regularly organised wine tastings. Email email@example.com and quote ‘TABLETALES’ to get your free account.
About Table Tales
Table Tales is a yearly lifestyle publication (SG & JKT) with a curated selection of restaurants and brand partners. Looking for date night ideas or a trusted resource to explore the culinary side of your city? We got you covered and give you unique privileges along the way. Table Tales will change the way you dine out.