The Evaluation Methodology for the Guide to Romanian Wines 2019

On 27th of November 2018, Gault&Millau launched the first edition dedicated to Romanian wines. This guide was developed based on a multiple-step methodology, following the principles developed in the past 30 years by the Gault&Millau network internationally.


Wherever in the world it is present, Gault&Millau provides expert recommendations and promotes locally representative products. Thus, in addition to the restaurants guide which is published in every country within the network, the wine guide has a tradition of over 20 years in Germany and Austria, the champagne guide in France is valued by enthusiasts in the field and the beer and, respectively, chocolate guides in Belgium represent an ideal means for discovering artisanal goods.



On 27 of November 2018, Gault&Millau launched the first edition dedicated to Romanian wines, in which 152 wines from 63 wineries are included.



The methodology comprised three main stages, as well as the collaboration with a team of local experts for the pre-selection stages and a team of international experts for the final stage, of evaluation.


1.      THE LONG LIST OF ROMANIAN WINES: During the first stage, a long list of Romanian wines was prepared, with over 1000 entries from over 80 producers, with the support of Sergiu NEDELEA (sommelier) and Robert MARSHALL (consultant, WSET).


2.      THE LIST OF WINES FOR EVALUATION: Next, in the second stage, the local experts made a selection of 220 labels based on the long list of +1000 entries. The essential criteria for this selection were the relevance of the varieties, local and regional particularity, the size of the wineries, the wines’ age, their availability for purchase/consumption, with attention being focused both on large wineries and small producers, international varieties, as well as local, including lesser known ones. Also, during this stage, the selected wineries were informed about the project and their wines being included in the list proposed for evaluation.


3. THE EVALUATION MADE BY A TEAM OF 3 INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS: The third stage, the evaluation, was made by a team of international experts composed of Ana SĂPUNGIU (Master of Wine), Caroline GILBY (Master of Wine) and Isa BAL (Master Sommelier). The certifications of Master of Wine and Master Sommelier are the highest distinctions that may be obtained by an expert in the field of wine (there are less than 400 MW and less than 400 MS internationally), thus ensuring the highest available level of experience and work ethics. Besides the technical knowledge, it was just as important to select experts without commercial ties to local wine producers. For the evaluation, the international experts’ team applied the international Gault&Millau methodology and granted scores to each label following tastings performed in several rounds. The tastings were “semi-blind”, with the evaluators not knowing the labels, but having information about grape varieties and production year.


The minimum scores for entering the Gault&Millau guide to Romanian wines were +80/100 for POP wines (accessible, with a good quality/price ratio, price under EUR 10) and +84/100 for the main segment of the guide (recent production & older labels). Of the 152 wines from 63 local wineries included in the 2019 selection, 130 wines are in the main segment and 22 are POP wines, thus covering a wide range of varieties, winemaking methods, geographical regions and production years.