Our Buying Guide And Blind Tasting Process

Wine expert smells a glass of red wine in her right hand and enters information into a laptop with her left hand, sitting in front of numbered, brown paper bags.
Photo by Tom Arena

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5‚Äď8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide context‚ÄĒvintage, variety or appellation‚ÄĒbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

About the Scores

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a product’s special characteristics.

98-100

94-97

90-9

87-89

83-86

80-82

CLASSIC The pinnacle of quality

SUPERB A great achievement

EXCELLENT Highly recommended

VERY GOOD Often good value; well recommended

GOOD Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value

ACCEPTABLE Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances

Products deemed unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed.

Special Designations

Best Buy‚ÄĒproducts that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. Wines meriting this award are generally priced at $20 or less, and are designated Best Buys after surpassing a specific quality-to-price ratio benchmark.

Hidden Gems‚ÄĒThis qualifier signifies a¬†bottle that‚Äôs a fun, esoteric pour. They‚Äôre not your typical regional finds, but they should not be missed.¬†Wines¬†priced above $20¬†with¬†a score of 87 points or higher¬†are eligible.

Editors‚Äô Choice‚ÄĒproducts that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a product at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention.

Cellar Selections‚ÄĒproducts deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a product must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated.

Wine bottles
Photo by Tom Arena

Tasting the World

We taste more than 25,000 wines annually from across the globe, covering classic regions like¬†Bordeaux,¬†Burgundy,¬†Tuscany,¬†Piedmont,¬†Napa¬†and¬†Sonoma. We also understand that the wine world is vast‚ÄĒand that every region is worthy of discovery. To that end, we leave no stone unturned in our pursuit to provide readers with reviews on wines from lesser-known or undersung regions of the world.

Regions our Tasters Cover


United States

Other North America

South America: JESICA VARGAS

Africa

Australia/New Zealand

Asia

Europe: France

Italy

Spain: MIKE DESIMONE

Portugal: ROGER VOSS

Austria: ALEKSANDAR ZECEVIC

Germany: ALEKSANDAR ZECEVIC

Greece: EMILY SALADINO

England: CHRISTINA PICKARD

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Published on March 17, 2023
Topics: Wine and Ratings