Wine Ratings

If you’re like most people, choosing a bottle of wine can be a daunting task. Even if you know what type of wine to purchase, selecting the actual bottle can prove far more difficult. With stores offering a wider and wider selection of wines to chose from, wine ratings can be your best friend.

What are Wine Ratings?

Wine ratings are a numerical system designed to help consumers select the best wine for them. Wine is tasted on a blind taste test (where tasters only know the type of wine and vintage). This means that the winery, region, price, and the taster’s previous experiences will have no bearing on a wine’s rating. The fact that price is not a factor is important; there are "cheap" wines that received a very high wine rating. In fact, there are many top rated wines that cost less than $20 a bottle (conversely, there are some rather expensive wines that did not rate highly at all).

How are Wines Rated?

While most wine magazines and groups have their own numerical ranking system, most wines are rated on a scale of one to 100. A wine that has a score of 95 or better is considered to be a superior wine; one of the best that the taster has sampled. That’s not to say that a wine that received a lower rating is not a good wine. In fact, in most of the common wine ratings, a score of 80 or better is still considered an excellent wine. Tasters take such factors as aroma, color, appearance, bouquet, finish, and overall flavor into account when assigning a wine its rating. These factors are combined to come up with an overall score. Some wine enthusiasts will break a wine rating down into categories; most just give an overall score.

How Can I Use Wine Ratings?

When choosing a wine, first set a price range. If you’re choosing a bottle of wine for an everyday dinner, you’re likely to want to spend less than a bottle of wine for a special occasion. Second, choose a range of ratings that meet your needs. In general, any wine with a rating of 80 or better is considered a good wine; a wine with a rating over 90 might be nice, though, for a special occasion. Most fine wine stores have ratings available; they can also be readily found on the internet or in wine enthusiast magazines. Many wine lovers also have blogs or personal websites where they keep personal wine ratings; if you find a taster whose opinion you value, this can be the best way to find a good wine.

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About The Author, Jerry Cahill
James PiknerPublisher and website creator for various topics related to the wine industry