several wine rating scales in use today, and many wine sellers and auctions
use a combination.
A wine with a higher rating is normally more
expensive than average wines, although this is not always true. Rating scales
are useful if you'd like to try a new wine and don't want an unpleasant
A major drawback to wine ratings? The score given to wine depends
on the person doing the rating.
Like a panned movie that became a film classic, wine ratings change with the times. Therefore, wine ratings should always be used as a rough guide to wines you'd like to personally sample.
if you are interested in a
wine with an mediocre rating, it's always a good idea to go back and
read the notes to see what or who produced the score. Find someone whose
taste in wines runs parallel to your own and see what they thought
about that wine you'd like to try or buy.
Of course, this means
you'll have to sample a few bottles to rate the raters before
you find one you'll agree with. Take your time, develop your palate,
take notes and enjoy ...
ED NOTE: The Wine Spectator,
The Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits Magazine are highly respected wine publications which publish ratings based
on the 50 to 100 numerical scale. You may see these listing in
wine reviews, buying guides and auctions. However, there have
been questions raised about whether ad dollars have some unintentional
influence on wine ratings from these more commercial publications.
They do not make their ratings available without a subscription.
Around the Web, more information about wine ratings and what they mean :
The Wine Advocate Rating System - One of the most respected
wine rating systems is the one developed by Robert Parker in The
Wine Advocate. The scale goes from 50 to 100 and awards color,
appearance, aroma and bouquet, flavor and overall quality a set
number of points. Wines over 80 are very good and over 90 are
excellent. Of course a 95 is a better score than a 90. Not everyone
agrees with all of Parker's ratings but if your tastes merge
with his, anything over an 85 will make you happy.
Spider - The wine spider is a rating system designed by
Nick Chlebnikowski of Vintage
Direct/Nick Wines in response to dissatisfaction with the
rating scales currently in use. It has some very good aspects
and although the subscription price is $AUS30, the subscribers
get to share everyone's wine reviews and ratings. It's well worth
taking a look at the demo if you are serious about wine - especially
wines from Australia.