top of page

How I Score

If you know me, you know that I have some opinions about the current rating systems used. The most common are the 100 point scale and the 20 point scale. Like all systems, there are benefits and flaws. I will be writing about this soon. But rating wine is, obviously, inescapable in this line of work. I've adopted a 5-star rating system which, in essence, reflects how much a particular bottle impressed me. Unlike blind tastings, this does take cost into account. We simply cannot judge how good a wine is without looking at its price.


As a thought experiment, if a bottle of wine cost $100 and is identical in every discernible way to a wine which is $50, which one is better? I know that this would never happen - no two wines taste the same - but this why price should matter just as much to critics as to consumers. This is how we identify value. We've all been to restaurants which are great and worth the expense, but we are blown away by our friend who makes restaurant quality meals in their own kitchen at a fraction of the cost. I will also be talking about what makes an expensive wine expensive soon.

A five star system is simple and accessible. One star being the lowest and five stars being the highest. This also captures a full scale. The 100 point system never rates below 70 (I know, right?) and the 20 point system generally goes as low as 12, so even the lowest scores have a perception of some quality. I feel a simple, five point system, encapsulates everything that it needs to.

★ - Avoid. Faulty or poor quality. Maybe have a glass and use the rest for cooking.

★★ - Par for the course. Totally fine, middling wine. Nothing to write home about.

★★★ - Good, enjoyable drinking. Would not be embarrassed to take this over to a friend's place.

★★★★ - Great wine, well balanced. Definitely keep it in mind when you want to impress.

★★★★★ - Thrilled. A bottle which offers tremendous value and is what good wine is all about.

I will also use ☆ for a half star.

It should also go without saying that all my reviews are my own and reflect only my own thoughts and opinions. I do my best to remain objective but we all have our biases and preferences. I invite and encourage you to think critically and judge for yourselves.

bottom of page