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Wine Medals, Ratings and Reviews and How..


Ratings, wine competition medals, and wine reviews can be important reference points that can influence people to select and buy one wine over another. If these ratings, award medals and reviews are unbiased and fair, these “persuaders” can serve as a good indicators of what the wine lover might experience when drinking the wine that was rated and reviewed.WIne-Rating-250X194 Additionally, These “reference points” also help establish the economic value of the selected vintage.  

But all of this begs a question: Are current ways of reviewing, rating and awarding medals an absolutely unbiased and fair way of doing what they are supposed to do? Or are they simply a manifestation of the personal taste and subjective opinions of those who care enough to write up their reviews? Are the medals assigned to a wine by esteemed wine-tasting judges and experts awarded according to consistent standards or can it be said that they are awarded rather randomly?

I think it is important for me to acknowledge that as far as I am concerned, wines fall into two main categories: First, there are the wines that I want to enjoy. The wine does not have to be a medal winner, it just has to please my palate and pair well with the particular dish I am eating. Second, there are wines that I might regard as an investment: Wines that I think will appreciate in economic value, or wines with such hefty price tags that I have to wonder how they will appeal to my palate. Will they really offer exceptional aroma, superior taste, greater pleasure?which wine should i choose In an earlier article I wrote about Penfolds' $108,000 offering: What signatures did this wine possess that rendered it worthy of such an exalted price? 

I have a great many friends and acquaintances whose knowledge and experience far exceeds my own and who regularly serve as wine judges and wine critics. So I’d like to ask them this question: How do ratings, wine competition medals and wine reviews impact the value of wine? Can these correlations be standardized or explained empirically? 

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Saturday, 07 March 2015 1:01 AM
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The rating of wine: where does one begin?

Wednesdays, at, will be devoted to discussing various wine reviews while also attempting to empirically describe and rate the wines we review. We intend to engage in these reviews in an unbiased and objective fashion. Since we believe that wine expresses itself much like art, where it is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so we must recognize that like art, the beauty and intrigue of a particular wine lies, after all, in the “Palate of the Taster".

“Empiricism” is defined as a theory of communicating knowledge primarily from measurable sensory experiences. So, how then are wines “rated” in an empirical fashion? understanding wine ratings

Applying empirical methodologies upon subjective experiences like our human sensory experience of evaluating wine can assist us in describing the experience to others without their need to taste that particular wine themselves in order for them to form an expectation of the particular experience prior to the reality of their experience. We shall therefore seek to describe a wine in terms of objective measurements so as to convey both the real and qualitative characteristics of a wine-tasting experience.blind wine tasting

This article will discuss one of the earliest wine rating systems established in the United States. This was a “point scale system” established in 1959 at the University of California, Davis, by Dr. Maynard A. Amerine. Dr. Amerine (1911-1998) is revered as the pre-eminent Professor of Enology, who, along with his staff, created a 20-point system that was used as a guide to describe and rank the large number of experimental wines that were being produced at the university.

Dr. Amerine's system, commonly referred to as "The Davis System" assigns a certain number of points to each of ten distinct categories. These points are then totaled to obtain an overall score for a particular wine.

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Rebecca Barbee
Thanks for the informative post - it was fun to learn what a 90pt wine actually means. Looking forward to exploring wines and lear... Read More
Saturday, 02 February 2013 4:04 PM
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