Ratings can be very useful in comparing the quality of different wines, but without an explanation to what the numbers mean, they really are not very helpful at all. My rating system is a simple 100 point scale that is similar to Wine Spectator’s.
In addition to the 100 point scale score, starting 8/6/12, I will list a second a score from 1 to 5 that will assess the value of the wine (how much it is “worth drinking”). The score will be based on the quality of the wine compared to what else is available in a similar price range and style, with a score of 5 representing a huge value for the price, and a score of 1 (typical of either lesser quality wines or wines that are priced extremely high) representing less of a value when comparing quality for the price.
Scores are as follows:
1/5: Below Average Value
2/5: Average Value
3/5: Good Value
4/5: Great Value
5/5: Exceptional Value
Anyone who has read my articles before knows that I like to cover some obscure material. So in addition to the new value scoring system, my reviews will now also include an “if you like…” section which will compare the featured wine to other, better known wine styles.
One Last Very Important Note: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. These ratings are mine. There is absolutely no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not you like something. NEVER let my ratings or any other critic’s ratings and statements make you feel insecure about your own feelings, which are always the most important things. You should never feel like you have to like a wine you don’t or that you should not like a wine you do. Everyone has their own palate, preferences, and expectations that define their standards for quality. My goal is to increase people’s exposure to wines they may not otherwise have heard of, bring high quality values into the spotlight, and most importantly try to uncover what every wine that gets reviewed can teach us. Every wine tells a story and every consumer is an expert when it comes to their own palate. Remember that.
Here’s the 100 point scale breakdown in case you’re interested:
98-100: Near perfection to absolutely flawless wines, welling with complexity, perfectly balanced, and thought provoking. Extremely rare models of what all wine aspires to be. (Call me a tough critic but I’ve yet to give a rating this high, ever.)
95-97: Excellent quality wines that do not achieve the legendary status of a 98+, but are incredibly complex, nearly flawless in structure, and please the senses as well as the mind.
90-94: Wines that standout for one reason or another. They may not be as complex or perfectly structured as the 95+ wines, but they will display greatly superior quality to 85-90 point wines. These are complex, well structured, and can often have one component in particular that makes them especially good.
85-89: Very good wines that are clearly well made. They may not be as complex or well structured as the 90-94 wines but can still offer solid, high quality wines.
80-84: These are good quality wines. They are often simple or lacking some depth of flavor or structure. They can be good for everyday drinking but will not be necessarily inspiring.
75-79: Acceptable wines for everyday drinking. These wines are either very simple or have some character flaw that makes them only basic table wines.
75 and under: Poor to absolutely terrible wines as you descend down the scale. Life is too short for these wines.