A Perspective on Wine Reviews and Point Scale Ratings
I’ve wanted to outline some of my thoughts on wine reviews and wine ratings ever since I launched this site. I’m a huge fan of wine, but my “expertise” doesn’t extend much beyond that. I don’t have a degree related to vinology, I don’t follow the weather in Bordeaux daily like serious wine nuts do, and I still adhere to the belief that the enjoyment of wine is a highly, if not entirely, individual experience.
I’ve had wines that were rated in the 90’s by the top critics that I didn’t love. In contrast, I’ve had wines rated in the mid 80’s that I thought were fantastic. The factors that ultimately impact someone’s enjoyment of, or dissatisfaction with, a bottle are too widespread for them to fit into one clean universal bucket of acceptance by everyone. And that’s what makes this so difficult.
Did you taste it blind, how was it presented to you, what were your expectations, what did you pair it with, where were you, what type of mood were you in, did you drink anything prior, did you let it breathe, for how long, how was the bottle stored, are you well versed in wines from a particular region and all the vintages? Perhaps most importantly, are you being swayed by your own personal preferences? If you don’t like Riesling, can you truly offer a fair rating for those that you try. Are you as objective as you would be for a variety you love?
It’s a tall order to give any wine any rating on any point scale given these elements. I try to categorize the wines I taste on this site (like so many bloggers out there do too), and I’ve tried to be as fair as possible. My ratings should be taken only as my personal take on the wines at the time that I drank them. Nothing more. There’s no way that I am always right, or even close to being right. Because there is no “right” in the wine world. Rather it’s a personal journey to find wines, regions, varieties and vintages that I enjoy that will likely span a lifetime.
I hope you use this site as a guide, written by someone that’s maybe a bit like you, not an expert but an enthusiast, who is in search of wines that create a fun, enjoyable and memorable experience for the setting in which they are consumed.
— Andrew, 1/13/10