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The Spectator rates it a 90, Wine Advocate says it is an 87, and Wine and Spirits Magazine marks the wine at a 95.  What makes the ratings different?  How do we know we are going to like it?  The rating systems are like anything else with wine. They are subjective. The companies who rate wine hire like-minded (and “like-tasted”) people to try wines and give their opinions. The key is to try some wines from various raters and then determine which group your tastes most align to.  Most of the rating systems are similar in the sense that they take into account color, bouquet, balance, aroma, taste and finish.  Others may include food pairing or even compare the wine directly to others in that region or variety. Most of the systems run from 50-100 but it is not consistent.  Some use a 5-point scale.  You may have to do some research on the exact rating system before knowing what exactly an 80 means.  However, anything under an 80 probably is worth the low price that is charged.  A wine scoring 90 or above is usually priced at a higher range and is often worth every penny.

Ratings in General
50-69 points - Not very good
70-74 points - Below average
75-79 points - Average
80-84 points - Good
85-89 points - Very good
90-94 points - Spectacular
91-93 points - Excellent
94-96 points - Exceptional
97-99 points - Extraordinary
100 Points - Rare, probably best vintage ever!

Liana Bennett holds a Bachelors of Home Economics from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Foodservice Management from Michigan State University. She has worked in several capacities in the both the hospitality and beverage alcohol industries. Currently she is spending her time writing and teaching classes. She now resides in Michigan with her husband, three children and their dog.


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