Tuesday, August 26, 2008

About the Scoring System

Robert Parker made the 100 point wine scoring system famous. Actually, it's a 50 point system since the lowest score is 50. You go to his site to see what he says about system. An average wine is supposed to be in the 70-79 range. But since he came up with the system, either wines have gotten better or there has been grade inflation (or both).

I try and follow the Wine Spectator version. 85 is a good solid wine that you can enjoy with any meal, but not a wine that you think about too much, one way or the other. 80-84 is perfectly drinkable BBQ wine that may have minor problems - a little sweet, or a little too sharp - if you think about it, but that you wouldn't much notice with a burger in your hand. 75-79 is a wine that has some kind of noticeable flaw. Lower than that is horrible.

Ratings are very compressed on the high end of the scale. The 86-88 range is a wine that you may not think about if you're eating food or talking with friends, but if you do pause you'll say "Hey, that's really pretty good." 89-91 are wines that are worth savouring. 92-94 are excellent wines that really should be savoured - don't open these to have with chips while watching the game. A wine rated 95-100 should be stupendous - I've personally not yet had a wine that was rated over 95 by Wine Spectator. But wines in the 89-91 range are readily available at ANBL for a reasonable price if you look around.

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