Wine Critic

06.10.20  \\\  Posted by Cellars Wine of the Month Club  \\\  Wine 101

There comes a stage in one's life when it's simply not acceptable to have an empty wine rack. The supermarket wine aisle can be a very confusing place for most consumers, and wine rating systems are a modern solution to guide your buying process.

What is the wine rating system?

Wine ratings score wines based on production quality and typicity. Typicity is how much the attribute of a particular wine 'makes sense' for the given style and region it is from. Consumers and critics alike benefit from the number-based approach, given a shared understanding behind the definition of a "good" bottle of wine.

What's the story behind Wine Rating Systems?

Wine Ratings were first started in the 1980s by Robert Parker, a wine writer who pioneered the wine rating system for consumers. Today, Parker is still one of the most recognized wine critics, and his 100-point system is considered the standard scale by which the critics rate wine.

How is wine rated with points?

As a general rule of thumb, the same wine-rating methodology is followed by most wine critics:

Blind tasting: Wine scoring takes place blindly, and all labels and identifying branding are removed from the bottle. The critics pour samples into neutral, clear glasses to taste and commonly assesses a wine's quality based on the following attributes:

  • Appearance
  • Aroma/bouquet
  • Flavors
  • Finish

Scorecard metrics: Most wine critics will use an identical scorecard to guide tasting, which is basically a checklist with a series of traits and criteria for each to analyze, then assign a numeric score to.

The 100-point wine-scoring system works as follows:

  • 96-100: Wines with a rating of 96 and above are in the upper echelons of quality. Experts across premier publications have approved these bottles almost unanimously as testaments to their varietals, producers and excellent wine in general. Receiving a ranking between 96 and 100 is one of the most significant accomplishments in the wine world.
  • 90-95: Bottles rated in the 90-to-95 range come highly recommended by critics and consumers alike, representing a bottle with beautiful depth, character, flavor, and bouquet.
  • 85-89: Wines in the mid to upper 80s demonstrate the quintessential characteristics of their region or varietal. They are often well-priced and above-average in quality.
  • 80-84: Bottles rated in the 80-to-84 range are best for everyday enjoyment, rather than celebratory events. Again, this rating indicates a solid bottle of wine suitable for casual drinking.
  • 70-79: Wines rated in the 70s meet the standards for drinkability.
  • Below 70: Experts generally consider bottles rated below 70 to have some critical flaws, and do not recommend them for consumption.

Our experts at Cellars Wine Club have cured a selection of some of the most fabulous 90+ available in the market to make your choice even easier. This way, you will make sure that every single bottle has the typicity and quality you are looking for.

Who Scores Wines?

Several major players in the wine industry have come up with their own reviewing systems:

Wine publications: Highly renowned publications such as Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Decanter Magazine, Vinous are internationally respected for their wine reviews.

Wine critics: Well-known wine critics at the top of their field also personally rate wines. Names like James Suckling, Antonio Galloni, Jancis Robinson, Jamie Goode, and Tim Atkin are extremely popular.

Don't miss out on our 90+ point club! Our own experts at Cellars Wine Club have done most of the hard work for you, and our 90+ is waiting for you.