Each year, Wine Enthusiast’s wine tasting panel samples thousands of current releases in every style and at every price point imaginable. Striving to discover the best and most attractively priced selections, we review hundreds of wines of interest to our readers. But those chosen for The Enthusiast 100 go beyond just interest: These wines are the best wines in the world, representing the very finest of their category, and should not be missed.
While the bottlings featured in this list have all received high scores from our critics, the criteria for selection of the top 100 wines extends far beyond the numbers assigned to them to include extraordinary quality-to-price ratio, immediate drinkability, and uniqueness. All offer a window into the terroir from which they come.
Another factor in selection—perhaps one less easily defined—is the wine’s “it” factor. Some wines are just buzzy…they attract excitement from both consumers and the industry, and represent notable emerging or established trends in the market. Thus you’ll find an Argentine Malbec in the Top 10 this year, testament to the great inroads that variety has made on the American consciousness, as well as to the intrinsic qualities of the wine itself. Our number one wine, from Piedmontese producer Renato Ratti, rewards the greatness of its 2006 Barolo Marcenasco, but also recognizes the leadership role the estate has played within Piedmont and the exceptional quality of the region’s recent vintages.
We’ve tried to include wines that not only represent many different regions and grape varieties, but also vary in style. You’ll find red, white, sparkling, dessert and fortified wines from many of the major wine-producing countries across the full spectrum of grape varieties. One of the things we value most in the wine world is diversity, and this is our way of applauding it. To see the full list of Wine Enthusiast's top wines of 2010, click here.