1WineDude TV Episode 51: On Wine Reviews

Vinted on July 25, 2012 binned in 1WineDude TV, wine blogging

Today, I thank YOU for being you and putting up with my freakish take on wine reviews, I make good on losing a bet, and I ramble a bit about why wine reviews aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. This one’s raw, but it’s from the heart. So watch, if you’re so inclined, and then just vote already, will ya?!?

1WineDude TV Episode 51: On Wine Reviews






  • Joeshico

    Always liked your weekly reviews, your approach and how you grade the wines. My vote is in.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Joe!

  • Todd - VT Wine Media

    Frankly I don't look too closely at your scores, but instead focus on the descriptions and indicators, because they are usually worth the time. The longer form articles about regions and wider wine topics are imprtant parts of the mix as well. There has to be some 'work' involved with 'going pro', so just keep up the good job you are doing, and be glad you get a chance to help influence change in the modern wine context.

    • 1WineDude

      Todd – thanks. Now if you can only convince the rest of these yahoos that we don’t need those scores/ratings, I’ll be al set! ;-)

  • passionatefoodie

    Though you may not use numerical scores, you grade wines with a letter and I feel that is essentially equivalent to giving it a numerical score. Though it is closer to the 20 point system than the 100 point system. And I think the basic criticisms of the point systems would apply to your letter grade system too. For example, what really sets apart wines rated an A- from a B+?

    • 1WineDude

      Richard – In summary for me there are two main differences: 1) the letter grades are more like ranges, so if you compare them to numerical scores you're getting a range of numbers, not just one; that to me is a good compromise in being able to try to reflect that a wine is going to change over time, and so a finite/specific score cannot reflect that. 2) The scale is not linear for me; there are plateau jumps between C, B, and A ranges and the curve would look more exponential if you graphed it, it would NOT be a straight line. So there is actually a big difference between B+ and A- in my mind. Now, I certainly could be criticized for not explaining that well, and I probably need to get working on some sort of visual to replace the “100 point scale equivalent” table I posted some time ago (particularly since I think that table encourages a comparison, but wasn't really meant to). Cheers!

  • passionatefoodie

    1) The range issue is why I said your system is closer to the 20 point system (where they really use only about 10 points). Thus one could say their scores are equivalent to a 5 point range in the 100 pt system, similar to your own system.
    2) You probably have not explained your rating system adequately, and most people seeing it will assess it like the letter grade systems they are used to seeing elsewhere. Get cracking on that visual. :)

    • 1WineDude

      Richard – I know, I really need to do that. First, I must manufacture a device that adds hours to the day… ;-)

    • 1WineDude

      Rough example not available on the Start Here page! And man, that page has gotten soooo unwieldy, now I have another rewrite/redesign project on my hands… curse you and your good ideas, Richard!!! ;)

      • passionatefoodie

        "Not" available? Do you mean "now?" :)

        I'll take a longer look at it soon, as it is very different than many would assume. Thanks!

        BTW, tomorrow I interview porn legend Ron Jeremy about his new rum!

        • 1WineDude

          Yes, meant “now” – and as for the interview, cannot wait to read that!

  • Chile Copa de Vino

    As WSET Certified, you were taught the WSET system, use it:
    Faulted (I done write up a faulted wine)
    Acceptable (I don’t review wine at this level)
    Good minus
    Good plus
    Very Good minus
    Very Good
    Very Good plus
    Outstanding minus
    Outstanding Plus
    The pluses and minuses are my addition, but the Quality Statement has to support my assessment. My blog is only WSET type Quality statements, no numbers.

    • 1WineDude

      Chile Copa de Vino – Well, I already sort of *do* use it! The idea behind the grades was based in part on the Poor – Acceptable – Good – Outstanding from the Conclusions section of the Systematic approach (like you, I've added plus/minus to the mix, but conceptually it's quite similar).

      • Chile Copa de Vino

        Right but A B C sounds like grade school ;)

        • 1WineDude

          Chile Copa de Vino – Well, I'm not one to put on airs here ;-).

  • Kim

    Joe, I really enjoy your tweets but truly I learn much about vino based on your descriptions. Love that I can relate when you talk about fruits, flowers, nuts, etc…. Grades do nothing for me, my palate wouldn't know what an A or a C grade vino tastes like, but tell me it's something with a blackberry flavor and a hint of honey suckle and I'm all over it…lol

    Thank you Joe, you make Vino Intersting and flavorful.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Kim! You made my day there, and given me hope that the grades can eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. Eventually… Cheers!

  • WineMizer

    You are spot on when you say wine changes from hour to hour in the glass. I've "pumped" some unfinished bottles and thought they actually improved overnight. How could Monday's number change so much by Tuesday for the same wine? Other wines were better un-aerated when poured – yes I know, that's heresey. But wine IS a living thing and the unusal sometimes become the common. I understand why numbers are used in retail selling. I also understand how assigning them can make or break a Chateau, and that can be the dark side of rating. But in a better world, numbers would always be used in a range, if used at all. Thanks for your stand. You're doing good work.

    • 1WineDude

      WineMizer – amen! And thanks.

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