There three categories of wine show medal, in increasing order of prestige. They are are bronze, silver and gold. If a wine is awarded any medal, it is an indication that the wine is of a quality higher than the general commercial wine level.
Not all wine shows are equally prestigious and the medals don’t always carry the same weight in expert circles. Indeed, the use of medals on labels is just a marketing ploy — it doesn’t mean the medal-winning wine is actually better than a wine that carries no medals on its label. For example, the winemaker may choose not to adorn the bottle with extra stickers, or may simply not enter the shows. Still, if show medals help attract the attention of consumers, it is a helpful way of letting the consumer know that a previously unheard of wine, may indeed be a good wine.
Additionally, the network of regional and capital city shows, from where medals originate, fills a useful and important role in letting winemakers know how their wines compare against fellow competitors.