Discussing :: Ratings? We Don't Need No Drinkin' Ratings

Since the beginning of wine, people have placed ratings on the varieties they consume. Some people rate wine in simple turns: a thumbs up and a lick of the lips or a dramatic smash of a wineglass against a living room wall and a simulation of vomiting. Others prefer to rate it with set criteria, such as the 100 point scale. Used by magazines, editors, connoisseurs, and plain ol' John Q Wine Drinker, this scale carries a lot of weight: it has the ability to make or break a bottle. According to Wine Spectator Magazine, the 100 point wine scale is broken down accordingly: 95-100 for exceptionally great wine, 90-95 for superior wine, 85-89 for very good,... read full article


Ratings? We Don't Need No Drinkin' Ratings

Not much different than ranking a movie. It sure helps if your going to plonk out some bucks for a delightful evening out. Later on, you can argue the merits of how many stars you would give it.


Ratings? We Don't Need No Drinkin' Ratings

Yea, this is a huge issue, especially when the difference between a wine with "RP96" and "RP98" can be a couple of thousand dollars. The ratings systems has the strongest effect on international wine sales, in particular for Champagne and Bordeaux. Wine Spectator and Robert Parker essentially dictate what vineyards will make mega-profits one year, and which will falter. We are fortunate in New Zealand that this hasn't really taken hold yet. Stickers like "Bronze- New World wine awards" clutter the labels of many otherwise nice bottles, but most purchasers understand that they can't take much from this. "Bronze" generally means it was one of the poorer wines showing, and the plethora of competitions available dilutes the strength of the vintners claims. Unfortunately, some less experienced drinkers can be suckered by this kind of marketing - but I suppose they will figure it out some day!

Bordeaux is a rather extreme example and in that case has led to price system where Parkers hundred point system can result in the wines automatically being priced outside most peoples means. However in regards to New Zealands wine industry i believe critical assessment is is paramount if we are to keep progressing. Wine tasting is an inherently subjective quest so in that respect it will always be fraught with difficulties. Ranking serves to set a bench mark to which others can strive and prevents one from becoming complacent. Deciphering the world of wine is a difficult task in its self and to taste every single wine out there, as enjoyable as it would be. is just not feasable, so relying on someone elses opinion, or better yet the consensus from many peoples opinion (Competitions) is not necessarily a bad idea. Albeit everything in life must be taken with a grain of salt and this should not be the be all and end all, wine is a subjective and hedonistic pleasure so in the end just follow your nose and your palate and you will end up right where you want to be!


Ratings? We Don't Need No Drinkin' Ratings

I think you need independant ratings of wine as a guide for people who don't know anything about wine. I prefer the cheap sparkiling stuff and like to do Michael Schmaucher impersonation (thats when he was good).


Ratings? We Don't Need No Drinkin' Ratings

I shop at New World and have usually found there ratings to be fairly accurate. You don't have to spends lost of ca$$$$$$h to get a great bottle of wine.


I think rating systems can still be beneficial however people should use them as indications and make up their own mind instead. Some people I know are not willing to go see movies if they don't have good reviews or are more inclined to go to restaurants that are award winning etc. But at the end of the day everyone has different tastes and what critics or other people like may be quite different from what you would enjoy. I recently bought a beer that's rated in the top 50 on ratebeer.com - even though it's rated highly by 2000+ people, it was just not for me.


This is no different from any rating system. I think rating systems are only useful when they are broken down into various components, in order to give an idea of the different characteristics of the wine.


The problem with ratings is proving the validity and integrity of the system. Just like match fixing I am sure all types of ratings are open to such munipulations. As mentioned in a previous post, beauty is in the eye of the beholder or taste is in the mouth of the taster??!!! We regularly buy a very tasty $25 red, but other reds in the same catagory and price range are no where near as good in our opinion even though our drop has no medals. They should also use this type of system for more serious alchoholic beverages.


Ratings can be a guideline for a "new to the world of wine" person, however, I myself do not have to have a diamond in my ring to make it beautiful! I agree with "Prettyboy" when he says "you dont have to spend lots of ca$$$h to get a great bottle of wine. Good luck everyone and "CHEERS" jo

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