What wines are allowed on this site?
We only list and promote wines that are made from 100% Texas grapes by Texas wineries and that have won at least 1 Gold medal in an international wine competition in the last 3 years. Typically our goal is to showcase wines that are available for sale online in Texas so that consumers can click through to the winery and purchase these great wines directly; however sometimes these wines sell out and may no longer be available.
Why should I care about Gold medals?
International wine competitions are a well established way of fairly judging the quality of wines from all over the world. The judges at these competitions are composed of highly respected and educated wine professional from around the world. They are typically sommeliers, masters of wine, wine critics, wine writers, restauranteurs, chefs, winemakers or other wine professionals.
How are wines judged?
Wineries pay a small entry fee and supply their wines for free to the competitions. At the competition, each category (typically by varietal and price range) is judged by a group of wine professionals in a "blind" tasting. Separate volunteers pour the wines into glasses and assign a random number to each glass. The judges then sample each of the wines in the category and score the wines based on a set of wine quality criteria. The wines that meet the highest quality standards are awarded a Gold medal (or better).
What is the standard ranking system at wine competitions?
This is the standard ranking of the most prestigious wine award to the least (typically awarded by category and price range):
Best in Show - Awarded to a Best in Class wine across multiple classes/categories. Typically a second judging of the Best in Class wines is done to identify the Best in Show wines. This is the highest honor at a wine competition.
Best in Class - (aka Class Champion) awarded to the wine in the category that receives the most points.
Double Gold - Awarded to a wine when all judges in the panel award the wine a Gold medal.
Gold - Outstanding quality and superior to most wines in the category and price range. Reflects the best flavor, balance, and style of winemaking. Typically requires at least 3 judges to award Gold.
Silver - Great quality. Reflects a standard of achievement.
Bronze - Good quality. Reflects balance and qualities typical for a wine in that category and price.
No Medal - Poor quality and lacking the typical qualities for a wine in that price range.
How do we calculate award points?
Top Texas Wines ranks all wines on the site based on the total awarded wine points the wine has accumulated at international wine competitions during its general availability (starting in 2018). Top Texas Wines uses a proprietary ranking system based on awards. The sum of these points is the rank that is displayed on the site.
Best in Show (aka Top Texas Wine, Grand Star) = 10
Best in Class (aka Class Champion, Top of Class, Best in Category) = 7
Texas Class Champion = 5
Reserve Class Champion = 5
Texas Reserve Class Champion = 3
Double Gold (aka Platinum) = 3
Gold = 1
What are the major wine competitions awarding Texas wine?
Scores from these international wine competitions are included in our rankings:
American Fine Wine Competition
Drink Pink Vino International Rosé Wine Competition
Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
Houston Rodeo Uncorked
Jefferson Cup Invitational
Lone Star International Wine Competition
New York International Wine Competition
San Antonio Rodeo
San Francisco Chronicle
San Fransisco International Wine Competition
Texas International Wine Competition
Los Angeles International Wine Competition
Texas Wine Symposium & Competition
Why are some great Texas wineries not included?
Although Gold medals are a great impartial way to judge the quality of wines, not all wineries choose to participate in wine competitions. There are many great wines and wineries in Texas that are not listed on this site but that in no way means they are not great wines. It just means that we have no impartial way of judging and ranking their quality to help you ensure you find an amazing Texas wine.
If you wish a wine was included on this site, please let that winery know they they should submit their wines to wine competitions and go for Gold!
Why can't I buy wine on your site?
Buying direct from the winery is the best way to support local business. It helps create direct relationships with you the consumer and it provides the best margin for the wineries. Hopefully you love the wine and join their wine club to continue to receive their wines and support Texas wine.