You Asked: How is a Wine's Score Determined?

Senior Tasting Director Joe Czerwinski explains the criteria for the 100-point rating system.


Published:

You Asked: I have seen the rating scale, but there are no specific criteria, such as age, cost, type of grapes, etc., listed as to how the rating is determined. I am curious to know what specifically is used (besides taste) to determine where on the scale the wine is placed. ~KC

Our reviewers assign ratings to all wines using the following scale:

Classic 98-100: The pinnacle of quality.

Superb 94-97: A great achievement.

Excellent 90-93: Highly recommended.

Very Good 87-89: Often good value; well recommended.

Good 83-86: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.

Acceptable 80-82: Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances.

Wines receiving a rating below 80 are not reviewed.

Although each of our reviewers is free to use their own rubric, we stress the importance of evaluating balance, length, intensity and complexity as the basis for our ratings. For a summary of how I rate wines, check my blog on the subject.

As most of the wines we review are tasted blind—that is without knowing the producer or price--there is no way to incorporate cost into the rating, although price is a consideration when awarding Best Buy or Editors' Choice designations. 

Do you have a burning, unanswered question about wine? Send your queries to kmckenna@wineenthusiast.net and one of our editors will get back to you.

 

Related Articles

Argentina’s Alternative Top-Rated Wine

Malbec is Argentina’s defining wine, but a growing number of ­top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons—and a few Cabernet Francs—prove that the country is no one-trick pony.

Germany’s Best Pinot Noirs

Though cultivated locally for centuries, today’s elegant expressions are fast becoming global darlings.

Your Guide to Top-Rated 2010 Barolos

The 2010 vintage in Barolo is one of the best in recent history. The time to buy is now.

40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers 2014

Our second annual 40 Under 40 list salutes the leaders of a new generation of drinkers.

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles