Dude, Where Are The Ratings?

Vinted on September 16, 2008 binned in about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine review

Simple – there aren’t any.

Next question.

Ok, well maybe it’s not that simple, actually.

Astute 1WineDude.com readers have pointed out that I have yet to clearly explain my wine rating system; or, more accurately, my lack of a wine rating system. So… I will try to explain it but bear with me, because while I love wine and I love talking about wine, I really hate talking about talking-about wine.

If 1WineDude.com had a Mission Statement or Credo (it doesn’t, by the way), it might look something like this:
a) Drink Wine. b) Have Fun. c) Learn Something.

Generally speaking, I don’t review wines in my blog posts, unless reviewing a wine gives me an opportunity to also have fun and pass on some interesting wine learning along the way…

When I do review a wine, I try to be as objective as possible, but generally I don’t taste wines blind (unless that somehow can also provide an opportunity for b) and c) above). Why not? Well, when’s the last time that you tasted a wine blind? People just don’t do that at the dinner table, unless they haven’t been paying their electricity bills.

When I read about a wine, I usually want to know the answers to a few key questions: a) How does it taste? b) Are the aromas / flavors things that I like? c) Is it worth the price?

That’s it. You don’t need a rating for that. If I wanted to be inundated with numbers, and read boring lifestyle pieces from snarky old billionaires that have too much money and free time, who want to regale themselves with their stories of how they travel every year to Old World wine countries with the Duchy of Snob-a-tonia, and won’t touch a wine that isn’t rated 95 “points” or higher, blah-blah-blah… well, there’s already a magazine for that kind of stuff.

What I don’t want to see are a bunch of numbers. A number tells me nothing about whether or not I’ll like a wine and if it offers good value for money – which for me is the majority of the equation, so to speak.

Also, I don’t know anyone who “speaks” in points. I’ve never, ever said to someone at dinner “ooohhh, this wine is soooo a 94!” And I doubt that I ever will. Unless I think it’s funny at the time and I’m at dinner with one of the guys from Wine Enthusiast…

I’m wagering that since you’re here on this blog, you’re thinking somewhat along the same lines when it comes to wine ratings. Since we’ve established then that none of us like wine rating numbers, I’ve instead included in this post some graphics of George W. Bush’s Presidential approval ratings ratings (they’re going down, by the way). Enjoy!

Now for some odd reason, I seem to ruffle feathers with the established wine critic community whenever I talk about this rating stuff on my blog. Oh well! To those whom I hath offended, I say: “Hey, thanks for reading!”

Please note that I am NOT bashing wine rating scores in general here. I just don’t happen to like them so I’m not using them. I am, however, totally poking fun at the Bush Administration.

Hope this clears up my stance on the conspicuous lack of wine ratings here at Dude central. I look forward to not rating many more wines for you in the future!

(images: gallup.com, wikimedia.org)





  • Andrew

    this post certainly garners an 8.75 on the Scribblings content scale; it doesnt include the value for money score though; so adjust accordingly.

  • Arthur, winesooth.com

    Whether you use points or not, a major lesson is lost if you list does not look like this:

    a) How does it taste?
    b) Are the aromas / flavors typical of the grape varieties used in the wine and the region they were grown? A wine of this vintage? (a wine this old/young?)
    c) If yes, how and why?, if no how and why?
    d) Are the aromas / flavors things things that I like?
    c) Is it worth the price?

    If you leave out b – c you are learning only about what you like and not bout wine – in general. While the first is important, it has more meaning and value in the context of the latter.

    Additionally, understanding the wine in its varietal, regional and vintage context allows for a more sober assessment of value.

    The issue boils down to paying for what’s in the bottle versus what’s in your head (ie your enjoyment and enthusiasm for the wine)

  • Joe Roberts, CSW

    thanks, arthur – I agree. Personally, I do look for those things, but they take a back seat for me to the other items. And I’m pretty sure that many folks who just want to enjoy wine and don’t necessarily want to study it would be fine skipping those things (though, to your point, they’d be missing out on some of what wine has to offer).

  • Bradley Cooper, Winemaker

    Drink it.
    Like it or not like it.
    Very simple.
    Perhaps, though, I could interest you in my revolutionary 1,000 point rating system now in beta? This allows variances from influences like: the weather, your companions, the color of your socks on tasting day. There are over 50 items where you can bonus or demerit. It's complicated, exhausting and allows snobbery to creep back into your wine life. I know you're facinated and the beauty of this system is it requires a large manual which costs $23.99 (S&H extra). Not available in any digital form.
    Why not order today!?

  • Joe Roberts, CSW

    Brad – Is that $23.99 U.S. or Canadian dollars…?

  • binendswine

    Dude- Love this post! Your “billionaire” paragraph is awesome! Might have to lift that from you some day! :)

  • china daily

    thinks for share.

    http://www.makechinesefood.com – learning how to make chinese food, Chinese Food Recipes, Chinese cuisine, low carb、 low fat、low calories and healthy Chinese food cooking recipes.

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