Throughout the year wine connoisseurs gather in mysterious locations and spend considerable amounts of time sipping varieties of wine. They each assign a number, which rates its desirability for consumption, to each wine. The numbers are then averaged and posted at wine displays and published in wine or food magazines and on wine websites.
There are a variety of wine rating systems. There is no standardization of the numbering systems. The Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator are two of the many wine number systems.
The Average Wine
Average wines, considered drinkable on a daily basis, are rated in the 70-79 range in some systems starting with lower numbers. In rating systems starting in higher numbers, the 80s, the average wines are found in the lower numbers of the system as well.
The Higher Numbers
In all the rating systems the higher the number the more experts there were who considered the wine to be superior. In all the rating systems good quality wines are in the 85-94 range.
The Biggest Number
Superior or classic wines are rated in the systems at 95 to 100. All of the wine rating systems go no higher than 100.
Numbers and Notes
Wine ratings are not just numbers. Notes, which give a description of the wine and its taste, are as important as the numbers.
Experiment with the different rating systems. Don’t let them limit your wine choices; taste is an individual experience.
References and Resources"History of Wine Words;" Charles Hodgson; 2009
"The Story of Wine;" Hugh Johnson; 2004
"Wine Bible;" Karen McNeil; 2001
ResourcesThe International Wine Cellar Guide
The Wine Advocate