CHOICE’s experts blind taste-tested 90 white and red varieties priced between $7 and $50, including a selection of members’ recommended drops. Not surprisingly, we found price generally reflects value, although there are some affordable dark horses that surprised even our highly qualified judges.
How we test
CHOICE selects the wine varieties and wines to test based on those most commonly bought at both Allied Liquor Merchants’ and Woolworths’ bottle shops. A number of wines nominated by CHOICE members are also included. We do not include unbranded wines such as cleanskins. The brands we test are concealed from the judges until after the wines are scored and tasting notes written; we use a 20-point scale in which the judges rate the wines on appearance (out of 3), bouquet (out of 7) and palate (out of 10) to provide an overall score. After scoring, the judges compare notes on the wines in each bracket and write tasting notes for the top five.
Meet the experts
Our thanks to the team of expert wine tasters - especially Phillip Gregory for his help in organising and chairing the taste test - and to the CHOICE members who nominated wines to test.
1. Phillip Gregory chaired our taste test and works for specialist importer Pinot NOW. He’s an experienced wine judge with a Master of Wine from the University of Western Sydney.
2. Gavin Lennard is the principal and founder of the Morpeth Wine Academy, which provides wine education and wine tours to individual, trade and corporate clients, as well as technical winemaking and marketing
advice to wine producers.
3. Ben Moechtar is co-owner of and sommelier for Delicado Foods and Delicado Wines, a boutique restaurant, bar and cellar in Sydney. He is also the NSW president of Sommeliers Australia and a wine journalist, educator and speaker.
4. Andrea Pritzker is the catalogue and content manager for Langton’s Wine Auctions. She has a Diploma in Wine Business from the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and is currently taking practical exams for her
Master of Wine qualification.
5. Paul Rogers is a wine lawyer and holds the Australasian Wine Masters Award from the International Wine Academy.