The thing I hate most about wine ratings is the thing that makes them what they are.
Wine ratings are subjective. They are one person’s judgement of quality and don’t take into account what really matters – how much you drink, what you can afford, when to drink them, and with whom.
I mean seriously, can you tell the difference between a 91 and a 92 rated wine from Robert Parker or Wine Spectator? Didn’t think so. And by the way, why aren’t there many ratings in the 70’s? Sometimes all you need, or all you can afford, is a solid C-. There’s nothing wrong with that. It got you through college.
There are too many factors to consider when shopping for a wine, and ambiguous rating systems just add to the complexity. You’re going to tell me that a 92 point Chateau Margaux for $250 is the same as a 92 point Vina Borgia for $9? Well, the rating says it is as far as taste and quality. Hell, if that’s the case, I can’t blame you for choosing 27 bottles of the Vina Borgia over the one Bordeaux for the same price. Shouldn’t there be a way to factor that shit in?
To slice through the ?, I’ve decided to create my own wine rating system that gives you all the info you need to truly make decisions rather that someone rating a wine based on how good they think it is. (I even made it emoji based to keep it simple for the kids ? .)
The cool thing about my system is that we don’t really talk money, but still talk money. It’s a sliding scale – a bell-curve, if you will. Yeah, I mention limits to your affordability, but everyone is different. A??? Date Night Wine, which has a perceived value, can be more or less expensive based on your particular financial situation. The scale adjusts accordingly. See. A system for the rest of ‘em. Democracy in action.
Keep in mind, I only rate wines here that I suggest you drink. The latest Arkansas Syrah (Arkansyrah?) or that bathtub cabernet made by your friend in Gainesville doesn’t qualify for a rating.
? Porch Pounder
This is your go-to house wine – the trusty white or rosé on a hot day after playing tennis, the red table wine for the baked ziti parties, or the box wine you keep around for the kid’s birthday party or when you just want a glass of wine and don’t want to think about it. This is your third bottle wine, meaning it’s what you open after you’ve already had two bottles and your senses are faded to the point where you should never open anything better.
?? Bistro Wine
The Bistro Wine is your burger and pizza bar wine – the bottle you readily split with your friend or order at the café to get the bottle discount rather than ordering four glasses. It’s a good drink, and you easily want two glasses of it. It’s the perfect wine to buy lots of at the liquor store, because it’s not the best or most expensive, but you can depend in it when you need something for dinner, you’re celebrating the end of a Monday, or you’re just lounging around.
??? Date Night Wine
These are the ones you love simply for what they are. You want to have more of these wines. This is the wine you break out when you’re eating pizza alone when your wife is out of town or when trying to show your date that you’re smart, have class, but are also sensible financially. This is your wine. Yeah, you can share a bottle of this wine, but you get more than your friends. These are probably something from your cellar and are ideal for introductory collecting, storing, and tasting sessions. This is probably the best wine you will ever buy in a restaurant because you know it, and at three times restaurant markup price, it more expensive than you want to pay but it won’t completely break the bank.
???? Commitment Wine
Alternately, the “I’d like to be left alone with the wine” wine, or the “I’m not sharing unless it’s with the person I absolutely love” wine. This wine is the perfect gift and is one of your guilty pleasures. This is the wine that you open when his parent are in town or when the boss is over. The quality is outstanding, and you get pissed when you open one of these and your hard charging friends drink it all before you get even a second sip. So, you don’t open it for your friends. Commitment wines, when judging for quality and value, are probably the best wines you will ever buy. This is the wine you have to taste while sitting because it will make your knees weak. You are personally committed to this wine.
????? Rock Star Wine
Rock Star Wines are tough. They could be called “Student Loan Payment Wines” because that’s generally how much they cost. They’re famous, expensive, highly rated, good for impressing your friends, and probably no better than your ???? Commitment Wine. These wines don’t care how good you think they are. You might have a couple of these in your collection, but you would feel guilty to open them simply to drink. These are for checking off bucket lists, paying off debts, or putting people in yours. These wines are great, regardless of if you like them or not.
There you go. A more reasonable and democratic wine rating system. Doesn’t work for you? Make up your own. But that said, bookmark this page so you can reference these ratings often. I have a feeling it’s going to take off.