Wine Tasting Guide

How James Halliday's wine rating system works and how to use it

James Halliday by James Halliday

There has been a progressive adoption of the 100-point system in wine shows and in reviews by other commentators. The majority follow the system outlined below, and which the Halliday Tasting Team use in precisely this form in the Wine Companion.

Wine Ratings

97-99

G

O

L

D

5 glasses - red

 

Exceptional

Wines of major trophy standard in important wine shows.

95-96

5 glasses - black

Outstanding

Wines of gold medal standard, usually with a great pedigree.

94

S

I

L

V

E

R

5 glasses - black

Wines on the cusp of gold medal status.

90-93

4.5 glasses

Highly Recommended

Wines of silver medal standard, demonstrating great quality, style and character, and worthy of a place in any cellar.

89

B

R

O

N

Z

E

4 glasses

Recommended

Wines on the cusp of silver medal standard.

86-88

4 glasses

Wines of bronze medal standard; well produced, flavoursome wines, usually not requiring cellaring.

84-85

3.5 glasses

Acceptable

Wines of good commercial quality, free from significant fault.

NR

-

Not Rated

Wines reviewed but scored below 84 points.

  Value wine
 

Special value


Wines considered to offer special value for money within the context of their glass symbol status. This can apply at any price point, and for consistency a basic algorithm is applied to take into account the price of a wine and the points it is awarded. A value rosette is given, for instance, to $11 wines scoring $85 or more points, $21 wines scoring 90 or more, $35 wines of 95 or more and $200 wines with 98 or more.

 Regional standouts
 

Shortlisted for an award


Nominated by the tasting panel as the best example of this variety/ style in its region.

Five red glasses

The initials EL, JF, JH, JP, NG, DB, PR and TS appearing at the end of a tasting note signify that Erin Larkin, Jane Faulkner, James Halliday, Jeni Port, Ned Goodwin, Dave Brookes, Philip Rich or Tyson Stelzer tasted the wine and provided the tasting note and rating. Biographies for each member of the tasting team and their regions can be found here.