Over time my rating system (mostly used only for my own personal record) has changed. I started off with a “yes” or “no” rating. In other words, was this wine good enough to buy again? From there I moved into a 5 point rating system, rating from a 1-5 but found this didn’t give much wiggle room for those wines that end up “good, but not great”. So I developed a 10 point system which gave me a bunch more room to spread out the scores. I’ve considered trying to start on the 100 point system but I think this often intimidates people. I want to keep things simple and easy to understand, so I’ll stick with this:
Note: When I include a + sign the wine is the rating shown but just a step above (a 8.5+ is essentially a 8.75).
10 — Perfect – Is this even possible?
9.5 — Outstanding – Wines that are exceptional and overwhelming, kind to knock-your-socks-off.
9.0 — Very good – Wines are like the above description, but with just a bit less wow.
8.5 — Good – If I could drink this every day I would, right up there but tend to be less complex.
8.0 — Above average – Characteristics are good but perhaps there are some minor faults, good table wine.
7.5 — Average – Take it or leave it, again, good table wines that maybe don’t stand out well without food.
7.0 — Below average – Wine that is starting to show multiple faults and just aren’t up there.
7.0 – 6.0 — Drinkable – These ones often end up as cooking wine at the end of the evening.
6.0 – 5.0 — Failing – Just not good at all, hard to drink with many flaws (fortunately we’ve had very few of these).
5.0 – 0.0 — Undrinkable – Vinegar anyone? Perhaps way past its prime or there was nothing there in the first place.