Scoring wines, beers, spirits etc is such a contentious notion. How can an ever-evolving, multi-faceted drink be summed up with a single number or a star rating? Still, I prefer to score as it serves as a personal reference point – something quantifiable about a particular product at a specific time.
When approaching my reviews, I advise reading the notes first and treating the score as an addendum.
You’ll see two different scales at use on this site, a nice simple star system for most drinks, and something a bit more nuanced for wine.
I like the classic Australian wine show scoring system because that’s what I was trained to use. Now, I’m too old and grumpy to abandon it completely, even if everyone else seems to prefer judging out of 100 now. So I write down both, just for context.
Unlike when judging in shows, however, I have the luxury of tasting with the label in front of me, often over several days.A little air time can turn middling wines into something for delicious, or sometimes it can see great wines unexpectedly fall over.
This scale appeared in its original form in ‘The World of Fine Wine’ Magazine (Issue 18, 2007), which was then modified by Steve Webber (De Bortoli), and I’ve then adapted it to my scoring bands.
So the first score is out of 20, then converted to a score out of 100, with an equivalent wine show medal. I judge according to benchmarks for style, and value doesn’t affect the scores (but it does affect whether I’d buy it).
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