Wine Ratings/Scores

flyinglentris

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Wine ratings are a sort of generalized system that is to some extent, usable when trying to pick a good wine. But wine ratings are based upon classification by people, particular people, most precisely, wine critics and wine writers, and to another degree, tasters. So, we rely upon specific opinions of people who we are to believe, are good at identifying and classifying the quality of wines. And what a tough job that must be, given the many varieties of wines.

Wine tasters are a diverse group, tasters at wineries who try to guide wine makers and blenders in producing quality wines, wine tasters for buyers and retailers who want to stock quality wines and wine tasters at the table in restaurants (sommeliers) who try to present diners with quality wine at the table.

In the USA, wines are scored on a scale of 1 to 100, in Europe, 1 to 5. And it may depend upon the critic as well. My favorite Cabernet (Kendall-Jackson) seems to bear the critiques out with a score of 92.

In the stores, wine ratings are more trivial and meant to stimulate purchase, trying to describe flavor and sometimes the presentment of awards. But where does one find actual wine ratings? Certain publications, "The Wine Spectator", "Wine Enthusiast" and "Wine Advocate" can be found online as well as writings by critics. A good wine source may quote such ratings directly on their products, refer to Calvert Woodley 90+ Wines as an example. Not every wine source provides such ratings.

Oenology is the science of producing wine from what the vinticulturalists grow, harvest and provide in the form of grapes. Production of quality wines is an odd thing, to be sure, to be calling a science, but there you have it. The Oenologist has that purpose.
 

garlichead

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Scoring wine is a business and can influence wine making and not necessarily in a good way. Basically I take the scoring with a grain of salt. Unfortunately most people have little comparison and rely on these, which is fine because it's not a high priority and the learning curve is very big. It's just not a proxy I like to use. I use a book for scoring wine which can be found fairly easily especially on line and allows critical information about a specific wine, tasting notes, the terroir, specific growing practices and the label which is removed from the bottle and glued into the book, which can be broken down into regions, countries etc. What's vitally important imo is what you think of the wine, and not necessarily what someone else does. Cheers.
 

karadekoolaid

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The problems I have with selecting a good wine for a specific reason are multiple, as you mention.
Firstly, the wine "ratings" are subjective - wine critics, experts and sommeliers always have different opinions.
Secondly, what ever appears in a store is there to be sold, so they´re only going to show "high profile" wines.
Thirdly, there´s just so much choice! I was browsing a store yesterday and there were literally thousands of different wines. To take a good look at them all I´d have had to stay there all day.
Fourthly, even though your favourite Malbec may be phenomenal in 2019, the 2020 vintage might lack body, have no depth, etc.
And lastly, the shop assistants are not always helpful. We had a cheese night on Wednesday - about 6 different French cheeses to enjoy. Our friends went to buy the wine and the guy in the store recommended a Chardonnay and an insipid Pinot Noir, neither of which were particularly special with the cheeses and neither of which I´d have recommended to my worst enemy!. Good job I´d bought a Cabernet Sauvignon "Los Alamos" ( Argentinian), which was delicious.
 

flyinglentris

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Scoring wine is a business and can influence wine making and not necessarily in a good way. Basically I take the scoring with a grain of salt. Unfortunately most people have little comparison and rely on these, which is fine because it's not a high priority and the learning curve is very big. It's just not a proxy I like to use. I use a book for scoring wine which can be found fairly easily especially on line and allows critical information about a specific wine, tasting notes, the terroir, specific growing practices and the label which is removed from the bottle and glued into the book, which can be broken down into regions, countries etc. What's vitally important imo is what you think of the wine, and not necessarily what someone else does. Cheers.

Yes. The ultimate taster is the consumer.
 

garlichead

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Yes. The ultimate taster is the consumer.
We have in Ontario the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) which is a story unto itself, nevertheless over the years the ubiquitous wine scores appeared on some wines and this continued for years and probably make up around 5% of wines, with the "Vintages" section around 10% and has slowly increased to about 15% in vintages until last year. Now about 50% have a score to let people know they're making a good selection. The ratings are extracted by the LCBO from more sources and I've noticed this year most are from wine bloggers and not the more experienced sources like "wine enthusiast" for example. I kind of giggle to myself and wonder if even the LCBO know what they're selling. What a business. Some of my favorite wines are not rated and I like it that way lol.
 

rascal

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I recently had a nice Italian wine, so nice I bought 4 bottles. Xmas lunch tomorrow and 3 as gifts.
I'm out but from memory
Novo door panchedoro.??

Russ

77856
 

karadekoolaid

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Looking at all the posts here, I´d guess the consensus is that, unless you´re a sommelier, who has the opportunity to taste different wines every day, wine choice is difficult; if not impossible.
There are so, soooo many varieties, prices, countries, that it´s really mind-boggling.
Only once have I ever been able to choose the perfect wine for my (Indian) food. An International Gourmet event (in Caracas) where there were at least a dozen different wine companies. My sommelier friends all said "Syrah" (Shiraz) for spicy food, so I spent an entire day trying out ALL the available Syrahs, and finally found one I liked.
Imagine if you had to do that every time you cooked a dish:hyper::hyper:
A recommendation from a good friend, or something you´ve tried and really enjoyed is probably the best bet.
 

garlichead

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Looking at all the posts here, I´d guess the consensus is that, unless you´re a sommelier, who has the opportunity to taste different wines every day, wine choice is difficult; if not impossible.
There are so, soooo many varieties, prices, countries, that it´s really mind-boggling.
Only once have I ever been able to choose the perfect wine for my (Indian) food. An International Gourmet event (in Caracas) where there were at least a dozen different wine companies. My sommelier friends all said "Syrah" (Shiraz) for spicy food, so I spent an entire day trying out ALL the available Syrahs, and finally found one I liked.
Imagine if you had to do that every time you cooked a dish:hyper::hyper:
A recommendation from a good friend, or something you´ve tried and really enjoyed is probably the best bet.
Yeah, it can be very confusing at the best of times.

There are standard rules that can help people make choices that generally work better. Lots of time people will just pick at random a red or white depending on whether it red meat, chicken or fish. Instead of the protein, match with the dominants flavors like a lemon butter sauce in a fish. Bitterness for example you want to make sure you don't pick a tannic wine, that will just make it more bitter. Generally you want a wine that is sweeter than the sweetness in your foods. Of course you want to match boldness with boldness not to make the wine weak and insipid. Acidity plays a big role as well. It cleans you palate for the next bite so it works well when there's lots of fat, cream, cheese etc. Also some reds have quite a few tannins in them and it's not necessarily a bad thing but you want to make sure you got a big fatty piece of meat generally to balance those tannins. If a dish is spicy to very spicy you can either pick a high alcoholic wine to enhance the heat or a sweeter wine to tame the heat a little. Cheers
 
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