Wine scoring… who is scoring and what do they mean?
You will see mostly Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate scores mentioned at most retail wine stores which is a great marketing tool. What do the numbers represent?
v 95-100: Excellent, Classic, a great wine (never seen 100)
v 90-94: Outstanding, exceptional, and well made
v 85-89: Very good to above average (may be a great value if the price is right)
v 80-84: Average little distinction
Wine Advocate Robert Parker is a well recognize wine critic, tasting are done in peer group, single blind tasting, the scores represent the cumulative average.
Wine Spectator is scored by the editor in the wine region in his jurisdiction, all tastings are blind.
If you know what you like, read the tasting notes, such as; spice, berry, smooth finish or mouth feel and other subtle characteristics. I notice that when tannins are mentioned as “smooth” this usually means the tannins are prevalent and so I personally tend to stay away from anything that mentions tannins in the notes…just me. The wine score rating system is severely criticized and considered to be “globalization of wine” and downplaying the characters of the wine maker. I believe we should try wine for the tasting notes not the score, learn your palette and what you like, however branch out and try something new once in the while. If you are one of those people that found that bottle that you like and don’t buy anything else but that….try something new. Next time you go to the market read some of the tasting notes and go for it!