Review and Rating Process
Important Categories Evaluated
Quality of Wines: Accolades, Variety
Wine Club Prices: Cost and Choices
Educational Value: Newsletters, Website
Presentation: Wines and Packaging
Customer Satisfaction and Service
Members Savings and Benefits
SUMMARIES AND IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
OUR RATING TECHNIQUE
96-100 Points = Extraordinary Superior Quality =
93-95 Points = Highly Recommended =
90-92 Points = Excellent Way Above Average =
88-89 Points = Very Good =
85-87 Points = Average to Good =
80-85 Points = Disappointing a best =
INDIVIDUAL AND CATEGORY RATINGS
The 100-point wine rating system has become the benchmark of quality in the wine industry. If you have ever looked around for good value ’90-point’ wine, then you have used ratings. The system does rate some aspects of wine quite well, including production quality, but there are a few inconsistencies that you should know about in order to shop smart.
See how wine ratings work, know their shortcomings, get a few pragmatic solutions that will improve how you buy wine.
A Pragmatic Approach to Wine Ratings
How Wine Ratings Came to Be
Wine Ratings were first popularized in the 1980’s by one writer who went against the grain to rate wines for consumers. His name was Robert Parker. Today, Parker is the most recognized wine critic and his 100-point system is generally considered the standard scale by which the
critics rate wine.
Wine Ratings Explained
Wine ratings don’t necessarily indicate how delicious a wine is. Instead, wines are scored based on production quality and typicity.
Typicity is how much the traits of a particular wine ‘typify’ the style and region it’s from.
The 100-point Scale
How Wine Ratings Are Like Dog Shows
The winning dog is the one that most typifies its breed.
If a dog has unique markings or funny legs not typical for the breed, it won’t be rated as high.
The 100-point scale actually starts at 50 points (and some raters never include wines below 80):
96-100 Points = Extraordinary Superior Quality
93-95 Points = Highly Recommended
90-92 Points = Excellent Way Above Average
88-89 Points = Very Good
85-87 Points = Average to Good
80-85 Points = Disappointing a best
70-79 Points = Wines are flawed and taste average
60-69 Points = Flawed and not recommended somewhat drinkable
50-59 Points = Wines flawed and undrinkable
Case wine clubs ship larger volumes of wine usually for a better price. So if you're looking for more wine it's a great opportunity to get a deal. Also, many ship quarterly so you still end up with the same amount of wine as a monthly club but save on shipping costs.
WINE OF THE MONTH CLUBS reviewed
GOLD MEDAL WINE CLUB > Six clubs - 89pts to 93+ rating
CLUB W > 2 clubs - wines for your pallet profile - 90+ rating
CALIFORNIA WINE CLUB > 4 clubs - 88 pts to 90+ rating
WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB > Est 1990 - 89pt rating
PLONK WINE CLUB > Eco-friendly, introductory 89+ rating
WSJ WINE CLUB > Best for Party Wines 89+ rating
CELLARS WINE CLUBS > 87pt- inexpensive wines
VINESSE WINE CLUB > 86+ Second label wines
AMAZING WINE CLUBS > 40+ gourmet clubs - 87pt wine club
INT'L WINE OF THE MONTH CLUB > 90+ solid on all fronts
CALIFORNIA REDS WINE CLUB > 88+