Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Saturday, February 20 2021

What is Real Wine?

By: Anthony Gismondi
Gismondi on Wine Moves Beyond Traditional Scoring Scales with Real Wine Designation

For those who live, breathe and taste wine daily, in our case, for some four decades, it is exciting to find wines that offer something exceptional.

These are wines that tell a story about a place, producer, and time, providing transparency and authenticity, while being delicious and memorable. These are essential wines, whether for drinking now or cellaring for the future. We call these Real Wines.

We wanted to recognize these wines with more than a standard numerical score. We also wanted to bring our collective decades of international experience and expertise reviewing wines into our scoring system. In a world fixated on 90-point plus wines, we think it is critically important to communicate that an 88-point, $15 wine can also be a Real Wine worthy of your attention. It's a designation that can be applied to all price points and aspirations without bias or expectation.

Like terroir, there is no definitive definition of a Real Wine, and while it may be hard to explain, it is more about a wine finding us, than us noticing it. It allows each of us to taste independent, yet gives us a tool to highlight a deserving wine that we want to share with you.

If you were to analyze all the Real Wines in the system at the end of 2019, I would hope the only pattern you discover are wines that stop and make you think wines that stand out from the norm and wines that we excitedly describe as electric. They could be farmed organically or biodynamically, sustainably or conventionally. They might see concrete or stainless or wood or amphorae, but none of that matters. In the end, if a wine receives a Real Wine designation at GOW, it has impressed and imprinted on us in a way very few do.

Though we respect our professional colleagues and their reviews, we respect the wines more. Our aim is that this helps unique wines stand out amidst the exponentially noisy wine critique landscape. We aren't giving up on points, but rather are going beyond points. To make it visually more apparent to our readers, we've designed new seals for point scores, along with our Real Wine seals. In this way, it's easy to recognize wines that rise above the rest.

We do not want people to feel intimidated by wine, which is why we have devoted our careers to communicating about wines, producers, and places. We hope you'll be as excited to discover Real Wines as we are.

Real Wine Seal - Download

Media inquires: Cheri Caleb at ccaleb@gismondionwine.com



Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.