The Points

Wine scoring

If I've preached one thing throughout my years as a wine blogger it is this:  Don't get wrapped up in the scores!  Let me repeat that.  Do NOT get wrapped up in the scores.  So, why do most people "score" wines then, you ask?  Because most people need a guide, or a report card instead of just "word of mouth" when it comes to selecting a wine.  Whether it's the traditional and most popular 100-point system used widely in the United States, or the familiar 20-point system used primarily by the French, grading scales are popular and commonplace and provide guidance on "hey, this is really good" versus "man, I wouldn't let my dog lick that off of a car tire".  You get my point.

What do I look for in a great wine?  For me, it's the overall product.  It starts with the label.  If the wine is on a shelf, does it pull you in?  After the label is the presentation.  How does it look after a generous pour?  What are the aromas?  What are the tastes?  How is the finish?  Is it memorable?  Will you be able to drink it in the future or will be be vinegar in 6 months?  These are just a few things that go into the overall score.

Over the years I have had many wine producers ask me not to give their wines a point rating.  And, to be honest, that is something that I really enjoy (and prefer).  I think that the notes about the wine should paint a picture for the reader that will quickly allow them to determine whether or not they want to spend their hard earned money on this bottle or that bottle.  So the next time someone tells you that they only drink wines rated 95 points are higher, tell them that you drink wines that taste great, no matter what kind of high school grade that they received.  And then tell them to pound sand.

The secret to enjoying a good wine:  Open the bottle and allow it to breathe.  If the bottle does not look like it is breathing, give it mouth to mouth and repeat.  -Unknown

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