Text Size:-+

Rumors of My Conversion...

....to the 100 point scoring system have been greatly exaggerated.

I gotta say folks, I'm tickled pink at how many of you e-mailed to point out the inaccuracy of the story in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday which mentioned Vinography as one of the major wine blogs that utilized the 100 point scoring system.

Not to worry, I haven't changed my system, and I'd like to use this opportunity to remind new readers how and why I use my 10 point scoring system.

When I started to review wines, I decided that I really had no idea what the difference between a 92 point wine and a 93 point wine was. I still don't. That level of granularity of score makes no sense to me, and I don't think it makes a lot of sense to most people. I certainly think that 99% of even the most sophisticated wine drinkers couldn't correctly pick a set of 92 point wines out of a group of 93 point wines if they were tasted side by side.

So I decided I wanted a coarser scale of measure. I also wanted something simple.

At first I thought about using the US letter grading system (A+, A, A-, B+, B, etc.) but I quickly ruled that out as not universally understood. When I tried to recall the most universal scoring system I could think of, I eventually settled on a 10 point scale that roughly corresponds to that very same letter grading system:

A+ = 10
A = about 9.5
A- = about 9
B+ = between 8.5 and 9
B = about 8.5
B-= about 8
C+= between 7.5 and 8
C = about 7.5
D = about 6
F = 5 and below

Those words "about" and "between" are pretty important to me, as I want to emphasize the approximate nature of such evaluations. Applying a numerical score to a wine is such a strange (but ultimately useful, in my opinion) thing to do, that it seems utterly ridiculous to quibble over increments at the level of hundredths (though since most 100 point scoring systems don't end up rating many wines below 85, one might argue that we're talking about increments of 'twentieths').

There's lots to be discussed about whether there should even be scores for wine in the first place, which is the subject of the slightly mis-informed Chronicle article, and we have discussed that topic at length here on Vinography, so there's no need to rehash old ground.

But in case you were worried (yeah, right). I'm sticking with my clunky little 10 point scale until I see a really good reason not to. Thanks for your support!

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud