Understanding Wine Scores Scales




sparkling wine sweetness scale

Knowing what wine scores are can be important for those who regularly drink from the vine and for those who don’t. Nobody, avid wine fans and casual drinkers alike want to drink a bad wine. So wine, like virtually everything else in the world, has a rating or scale. Wine, in fact, has three primary wine-scoring scale systems.

Wine Scores

Obviously, you don’t want a wine that scores a 5 on a 20 point wine-scoring scale, nor would you likely desire to have a glass of Merlot that scores a 50 on a 100 point scale – not if it can be avoided. So understanding wine scores and systems is good information to have, and there are three basic scoring systems for wine. There is a more academic scale, the 20 point system. There is the more traditional Americanized 100 point scoring system and the 5 point (or 5 star) scale.

sparkling wine sweetness scale

Beginning with the most commonly used 100 point scale, these wine scoring systems are good guides for choosing what wines to buy or even good tools for the sale of wines. The basic premise of this scale is that 50 is the lowest possible score. Apparently anything that is essentially unworthy of being called a wine will have a 50 something score attached to it.

Score Explanation
Wine Spectator 100-Point Scale
95–100 Classic: a great wine
90–94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
85–89 Very good: a wine with special qualities
80-84 Good: a solid, well-made wine
75–79 Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
50–74 Not recommended

According to the 100 point scoring system 50 to 74 rates as a wine that simply isn’t recommended. On the other end of the scale, any wine with a 95 to 100 rates as a classic wine, the best wine available. 90 to 94 is considered a superior wine, worth the time and money to get.

Bordeleau vineyards

The 20 point wine scoring scale was developed with academic evaluations in mind. A few examples of this rating system are the very best a wine can receive at 20, a 15 on this scale would be dubbed an ordinary or average wine. A wine getting a 12 rating would be considered faulty, imbalance or lacking strong qualities.

Score Explanation
Jancis Robinson’s 20-Point Scale
20 Truly exceptional
19 A humdinger
18 A cut above superior
17 Superior
16 Distinguished
15 Average
14 Deadly dull
13 Borderline faulty or unbalanced
12 Faulty or unbalanced

The 5 point scoring system is probably the other rating system that wine drinkers may likely find. On the 5 point (or star) rating, a 5 is the very best of course. 4 stars would rate a wine as excellent while a single star or rating of 1 would basically cite that wine to ordinary.

Score Explanation
Platter’s 5-Star South African Wine Scale
5 Stars Superlative. A Cape Classic
4 Stars Excellent
3 Stars Good Everyday Drinking
2 Stars Casual Quaffing
1 Star Very Ordinary

So know the scoring system, know your wine and enjoy.

Robert Parker 100-point wines

23 Photos of the Understanding Wine Scores Scales

wine tastingwine scoring sheetwine scoringwine scalewine ratingswine competitionswhy wine points matterwhat you need to know about the 100 point wine systemwine scalesthe Spanish critic of winethe narrow range of scoring winesparkling wine sweetness scalescores 91 ratings in winerating systemone wine scoring systemmajor scale musical wine glasseshydrometerhow to read decanter wine scores the 100 point scalehow to read decanter wine scoresGlenwood cellars Sauvignon blanc

Leave a comment