It’s all about Value at the World Wine Awards of Canada

by David LawrasonOctober 7, 2015

Announcing the Results

David Lawrason

David Lawrason

Quick, name the top five Best Value Cabernet Sauvignons sold in Canada. Would you have guessed Errazuriz Estate from Chile; Mission Hill Reserve from B.C., Ringbolt from Western Australia, Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva from Chile, and Wolf Blass Yellow Label from Australia?

Yes, that Wolf Blass, that for years was one of the top selling reds in the county, now re-tooled with fruit drawn from Langhorne Creek, a region that makes some of the most fragrant cabs in the world. And Mission Hill Cab Reserve, that is gaining stature every passing vintage as vineyards mature. And Santa Rita Medalla Real that has been wowing value seekers for years with its full throttle flavours. And if you have not yet tried Ringbolt from Margaret River, well you simply must.

Who owns bragging rights as Outstanding Value Winery retailing in Canada? That would be Errazuriz of Chile. This winery entered eleven wines in the WineAlign World Wine Awards of Canada and took seven value medals – three gold, three silver and one bronze. Right behind is Cono Sur another Chilean winery Canadians coast to coast have long recognized as great value. In third spot is Ontario-based Magnotta that makes VQA and international wines (they own vineyards in Chile) only available in their private stores. In fourth spot is Wolf Blass, with a strong showing with their increasingly regionalized brands. Fifth spot goes to B.C’s Gray Monk Estate Winery with their range of pristine whites and reds.

WineAlign has announced the results of the 10th Edition of the World Wine Awards of Canada. The name has changed over the years but the intent has always been the same – to assemble Canada’s leading palates and taste through hundreds of wines that sell somewhere in Canada for less than $50. In fact, the vast majority of this year’s entries were under $25.

As a professional rating service we have scored each wine using a metric based on experienced palates and a detailed blind judging system designed to be as fair as can be to the wines entered. Here’s a video explaining the judging system.

This year however the reporting and medalling was simplified. Price and country categories were eliminated (most countries make most styles). Price and judges scores were fed into a complex formula that provided a value rating for each wine – resulting in a gold, silver or bronze value medal.

WWAC15 Gold Value MedalWWAC15 Silver Value MedalWWAC15 Bronze Value Medal

Because in the end that is how we all shop. We look at what we want to buy and pick the one we perceive to be the best value, based on our individual metrics.

​”This year we decided to take a mathematical, objective approach to the often subjective concept of value” said Bryan McCaw, Head Wineaux of WineAlign. “Using a formula developed with a Mathematics and Statistics graduate from SFU, we were able to evaluate all of the wines based on a combination of price AND score”.

WWAC15 Apprentice Judge - Steve Robinson WWAC15 Judges Table

The judging was held over five days in late August at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites. We assembled 18 judges from across Canada and spent five days tasting through just shy of 1000 wines, with the top 40% of the medal winners getting a second look in the last two days to sort out their ranking. As we have now done for the past three years we also included two rigorously vetted apprentice judges (Steve Robinson and Jules Garton), whose scores did not count this year – but they will next year.

The great beauty of the 10th World Wine Awards is that you can go to any variety/style category and instantly see which wines rose to the top, as we did with the cabernets above. Or, you can browse alphabetical lists by winery of the gold, silver and bronze value winners, to see where some of your favourites stack up against what the pro’s think.

WWAC15 World Wine Awards WWAC15 Judge - Bruce Wallner MS

What’s your hot button style – riesling from anywhere, sangiovese from Italy, tempranillo from Spain? You could end up spending a great deal of time parsing our lists and reading about each wine. You can link easily to any one wine and read the reviews of multiple critics, and look at their individual ratings as well an “aggregate” WineAlign rating.

Happy bargain hunting, and toast to drinking good wine that you can really afford.

David Lawrason
VP of Wine

World Wine Awards of Canada (Links to 2015 Results)

Results Summary Page

Outstanding Value Winery

Gold Value Medal Winners

Silver Value Medal Winners

Bronze Value Medal Winners

Editors Note: You can find complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names, bottle images or links. Paid subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 60 days to see new reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great value wines!


We would like to acknowledge Fortessa Canada for the Schott Zwiesel glassware used throughout the judging. A special thank you to Jason Dziver for the above images, as well as for each and every Awards bottle image appearing our site. You can see more of his work at Jason Dziver Photography.

WWAC15 Judges and Staff - Jason Dziver Photographer