Scoring wines is such a contentious notion, and I can respect that the argument strikes at the heart of what is the point of wine reviewing.
I can understand the negatives – how can an ever-evolving, multi-faceted wine be summed up with a single number. Personally, I prefer to score, as it serves as a personal reference point – something quantifiable about a certain wine, at a certain time, that helps give me something to hold on to.
My advice when approaching my reviews is to read the notes first, treating the score as an addendum. I use the Australian Wine Show Scoring System, mainly as this is the format that I have been trained to use. Unlike when judging in shows, however, I have the luxury of tasting with the label in front of me, often over a several day period – giving the benefit of context, particularly for young wines, which might need more time.
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). I’ve then adapted it to my scoring bands (I’m actually the most generous of the lot).
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 if does affect whether I’d buy it).
Support Australian Wine Review
Help keep this site free, independent, and brutally honest for another 12 years
START SUPPORTING HERE