About Wine Ratings

Our goal at Wine.com is to help you choose the wines that are best for you. After all, you are the most important judge of the wine you drink. For a balance of information, Wine.com displays wine ratings from eight publications: Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wines & Spirits, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, Connoisseurs Guide, James Halliday's The Australian Wine Companion and The Wine News. Wine.com is not sponsored by, affiliated or associated with any of these publications or their publishers.

Wine ratings may influence your decision, but the ultimate judgment is yours. Everyone has a different palate and different preferences, so basing purchases on wine ratings may not garner the perfect wine match for your tastes. Always read the tasting note with a score, and when you do purchase for wine ratings sake, you'll soon learn which publications or tasters possess your style of palate.

Wine Spectator
Each wine region is the jurisdiction of one editor who has developed an expertise in that region's offerings.

Reviewers and Regions:

  • James Laube – California (primary)
  • Harvey Steiman - Washington, Oregon, Australia, New Zealand
  • Bruce Sanderson - Burgundy, Champagne, Germany
  • Kim Marcus - Portugal, Languedoc-Rousillon, Austria, Greece
  • Thomas Matthews - Spain, New York
  • James Suckling - Bordeaux, Italy, Port
  • James Molesworth - Loire Valley, Rhone Valley, South Africa, Argentina, Chile
  • Alison Napjus - Alsace
  • MaryAnn Worobiec – California
  • Tim Fish - California

All tastings conducted "blind." Tasters are told type of wine and vintage. Flawed or very highly rated wines are re-tasted. European wines are sometimes tasted there, where fresher, perfectly stored examples are available. Ratings are based on how good a wine will be when it reaches its peak, regardless of how soon that will be. If barrel samples are being rated, that is revealed.

95-100 - Classic; a great wine
90-94 - Outstanding; superior character and style
80-89 - Good to very good; wine with special qualities
70-79 - Average; drinkable wine, may have minor flaws

The Wine Advocate
Robert M. Parker, Jr. is a renowned wine critic and publisher of The Wine Advocate. Over the past decade, Parker has brought on other reviewers to join the publication. RP next to a wine means that it was rated by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, not necessarily Parker himself.

Reviewers & Regions:

  • Robert Parker – Bordeaux, Rhone, California
  • Antonio Galloni – Italy
  • Jay Miller – Oregon, Washington, Spain, Australia, South America, Vintage Ports
  • Mark Squires - Israel, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Neil Martin – Some Bordeaux & other regions
  • David Schildknecht - Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, America's Eastern & Midwestern wineries, Alsace, Burgundy, Loire, Languedoc-Roussillon, Champagne, New Zealand, South Africa

Tastings are conducted in peer group, single-blind conditions, so neither price nor winery influences the rating. If tasted several times, the scores represent a cumulative average. Overall, the score assigned to a specific wine reflects the quality of the wine at its best. Parker encourages readers to rely on the score with the written notes rather than the score alone.

96-100 - Extraordinary; a classic
90-95 - Outstanding; exceptional complexity and character
80-89 - Barely above average to very good; wine with various degrees of flavor
70-79 - Average; little distinction beyond being soundly made

Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast wine ratings are based on tastings by the magazine's editors and other qualified tasting panelists, either individually or in a group setting. Tastings are conducted blind or in accordance with accepted industry practices. Price is not a factor in assigning scores to wines. Only wines scoring 80 points or higher are published. When possible, wines considered flawed or uncustomary are re-tasted.

Reviewers & Regions:
  • Joe Czerwinski – France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand
  • Susan Kostrzewa - South Africa, Greece, Canada, Eastern Europe, "Other" US regions
  • Steve Heimoff – California
  • Roger Voss - Austria, France, Portugal
  • Paul Gregutt - Washington, Oregon
  • Monica Larner – Italy

95-100 - Superb. One of the greats.
90-94 - Excellent. Extremely well made, highly recommended.
85-89 - Very good. Possibly good value.
80-84 - Good. Solid wine, suitable for everyday consumption.

Wine & Spirits Magazine
Tastings are conducted under controlled, blind conditions, no exceptions. Wines are first tasted by screening panels composed of retailers, sommeliers, winemakers and other wine professionals whom we invite to taste with us. Wines recommended by our screening panels are then presented to our critic, who scores each wine and writes the reviews. Ratings are based on how well a wine performs within its category (varietally or regionally). Our goal with these ratings is for each critic to provide a consistent point of view against which you may measure your own taste over time.

95-100 - superlative, rare finds
90-94 - exceptional examples of their type
86-89 - highly recommended
80-85 - good examples of variety or region

Reviewers and Regions:

  • Joshua Greene - California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Portugal, Rioja, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
  • Tara Q. Thomas - Mediterranean, Greece and Eastern Europe
  • Wolfgang Weber – Italy; Central and South Coast regions of California
  • Patrick Comiskey – US wines outside of California
  • Peter Liem - Loire, Alsace, Germany, Austria.
  • Patricio Tapia - Argentina, Chile, Spain

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Wines are scored relative to their peer group based on their expected quality during their period of peak drinkability. Wines rated 90 or better are highly recommended additions to your cellar; wines rated at least 85 are recommended bottles that should provide pleasurable drinking. Score ranges are offered for unfinished wines. Stephen Tanzer is the primary taster and critic, Josh Raynolds also reviews wines for the International Wine Cellar.

Other Publications
Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine, James Halliday's Wine Companion and The Wine News all use the 100-point system. The scale is similar to those of the above publications in their score to quality ratio.

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