The Standard 100 Point Tasting System
In North America, the majority of wine critics rate wines out of 100 (not unlike the percentage grades that we received at school). Scores under 75 points are rarely published so the range generally goes from:
75 points = mediocre yet still drinkable → 100 points = perfection
The flaw in this system is that 12$ Côtes du Rhône wines are regularly awarded 88 points alongside 75$ Châteauneuf-du-papes and Côte Rôties. The average wine lover, not well versed in the pedigree of different vineyard regions, might reasonably ask themselves why drink 75$ wines when the 12$ ones scored just as well?
My Rating System
My system uses the 100 point scale, but separates wines into defined price and style categories assigning scores based on criteria specific to that level of wine:
Value Wines (VW)
- Price range: Approximately 20$ wines and under
- Scoring criteria: clean, well made, easy drinking wines that offer good value for money
Premium Wines (PW)
- Price range: Approximately 20$ – 50$
- Scoring criteria: superior wines; often showing good regional character. Some aromatic intensity and complexity, good balance and a smooth finish.
Luxury Wines (LW)
- Price range: Approximately 50$ +
- Scoring criteria: exceptional wines that are representative of their terroir and vintage, displaying excellent balance, length, intensity, complexity and concentration
My wine reviews will show the score, followed by the category abbreviation so that consumers know how the wine has been evaluated.
Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – 88pts. PW
Pale, straw yellow. Lively and refreshing, with aromas of lime, gooseberry, passionfruit and underlying herbal notes. Dry, light bodied and crisp, with moderate alcohol and a smooth, citrus dominant finish. Very pleasant, but for the price it lacks individuality and complexity.