to Use 5 Star Ratings System

Its been two years in the making.  I’ve been thinking about it, forgetting about it, thinking about it some more, and finally I’m taking action.  I’ve concluded that needs a simple at-first-sight type of rating/ranking system for the wines I review.

I have studied the 100 point scale, and frankly I’ve never been too thrilled with it.  Can you taste the difference between an 87, 88, or 89?  Neither can I.  I wanted to take a simpler approach.

I’ve settled on using the 5 star system.  The five star system provides for an easy to understand, intuitive, and visually simple overview of the tasting.  The 5 star system for wines is currently in use by Decanter magazine.  It was popularized by Michael Broadbent in his Great Vintage Wine Book.

My 5 star rating system will vary slightly in that my descriptions vary from those employed by other 5 star rating users.  I also incorporate the use of half-steps or half-stars as a way of being more descriptive.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆Not very good (Do I still have the receipt?)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆Fair (It ain’t gonna kill you)

Rating: ★★★☆☆Good (Ok.  I can have another sip of this)

Rating: ★★★★☆Very Good (Yeah. Now we’re talking!)

Rating: ★★★★★Excellent (Freaking Outstanding!)

My ratings are based on the merits of the wine at the time of tasting.

My ratings do not take into account cellaring potential.  If a wine rates 2 stars today but has great cellaring potential which could take the same wine to 4 stars in five years, then so be it.  I’m not a fortune teller.

I also do not take into account the suggested retail price.  If a wine is a great value, I’ll tell you in the summary of the review, but I do not calculate the cost in my ratings.  Its more transparent for my readers that way.

So this explains those little yellow stars you may have started to see as of late on my reviews.


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