Every year, many hundreds, if not thousands, of new wines enter the market, whether they’re from veteran wine estates or novice producers with newly established vineyards. With the mind-boggling wealth of options out there, it can be a tough decision to spend $30 (or much, much more) on a bottle you’ve never tried or even heard of. Luckily, world-renowned wine experts are glad to share their opinions on what’s good. (And here are 13 ways you can tell if a wine is actually really good.)
To compile a list of the world’s best wines for 2022 as designated by a particularly distinguished panel of experts, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the results of the 19th annual World Wine Awards, published by Decanter, a leading English-based wine magazine and website. To determine the award-winners, almost 250 international wine experts, including 41 Masters of Wine and 13 Master Sommeliers, judged a total of 18,244 wines from 54 countries.
Our list includes the 50 of these, representing 16 countries, that were named Best in Show and given scores of 97/100, the highest awarded.
The prices given are global averages as computed by the wine-price comparison site Wine-Searcher. (For wines not listed on the site, the winery websites were consulted.) The average prices range from $9 to $240 a bottle, with plenty of options in every price range, and the majority being under $42. It should be noted, however, that not all these wines will be available in the U.S., and that most of those that are will cost more here than the average prices given here.
Most of the Best in Show wines are red, with a fair representation of whites and sparkling wines, a few sweet and fortified wines, and one rosé. The vast majority are newer vintages from 2019 and 2020, with a few earlier vintages appearing.
While the world’s 50 best wines represent 16 countries, Old World wines dominate the list. France retained its supremacy from prior years, with 10 wines awarded Best in Show, and Bordeaux being a particularly well-represented region among the winners.
Nine winners are Italian, with four from Tuscany and the first ever Best in Show award for a wine from Sardinia – Chessa Cagnulari Isola dei Nuraghi (2020), which the judges described as having an “aromatic poise and lively complexity on the palate.” Spain had five winners, with four of those being value bottles (under $18), proving that an outstanding wine doesn’t have to break the bank.
New World wines are well represented, including varieties from Chile and Argentina, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Although only one California wine made Best in Show – Hirondelle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (2019) from Napa Valley’s Clos du Val – four others did win Platinum awards (just one level down from Best in Show) with scores of 97/100. (California produces more wine than any other state by far, but every state produces at least some. Here are the states with the most and fewest wineries.)
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