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99 Points! Or, was that 9.5? Ratings and all that ...

Rating wine is subjective and tricky. Making matters more difficult are different scales with which to rate wine. We began our blog with a five-star rating system, but this proved inadequate to delineate our range of opinions. In many cases, two wines had the same rating, yet we clearly knew we preferred one over the other.

A couple of weeks ago, Winecast hosted a round-table discussion among leading wine bloggers on the current state of wine blogging (Unfiltered 7 - Wine Blogging Today). One of the topics was about the disparate wine blog rating systems. The panel agreed that the two predominant rating systems are the 100-point scale and the 10-point scale (which includes half points making it a 20-point scale). This discussion convinced us to replace our five-star rating system with the more popular 10-point rating system.

Why the 10-point system?

Initially the 100-point scale appears to be the better choice. It's common in the grocery store and in many wine magazines. But have you ever seen a wine rated 35 points? Apparently, the public only views 80+ ratings. The 100 scale ends up becoming a de facto 20-point scale. The wines that scored below 80 points are never publicized.

Second, we are not expert wine tasters. The complexity of 100 points (despite our above argument) is daunting. What's the nuance between 81 and 82? We honestly don't know. The 100-point scale is simply too much trouble for what it's worth.

Finally, it appears that any rating system--despite the plethora of competing systems--can be converted to the more popular 100-point or 10-point numeric scales. Our former five-star system easily translates to 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 points on the 100-point scale. And it easily translates to 1-10 on the 10-point scale. Really it's a question of rating complexity, and we have chosen the simpler version.

So long live the 10-point scale! We hope our new system is helpful and agreeable to everyone reading our blog. Thanks for reading!


Re: 99 Points! Or, was that 9.5? Ratings and all that ...

I use the 20 point system but I agree with you - it really doesn't matter - 10 is just as perfect. What is more important is to "taste" the person providing the score on a regular basis and see how their tastes jibe with yours. After that the score becomes more relevant. Cheers!

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