To us, the most important thing about wine is the pleasure of enjoying it with families and friends. The second most important thing is learning to enjoy it and learning to enjoy more of it. Not only is wine personal, it is also an egalitarian product with huge price and flavor variations that cater to just about any budget and preference. Everyone is entitled to have their own expectation. As such, it is difficult to be 100% objective when scoring a wine. That said, friends and readers often request recommendations of specific producers and bottles, so we’ve scattered many suggestions throughout the website. They’ve also asked for specific guidance when it comes to buying wine.
This is why in March 2017, we introduced a five-point system to be included in most of our wine reviews. The five-point system is the same as Vivino, a social and wine-rating platform we use.
There are many subjective factors that influence the way we score a wine, such as our affinity for the producer, personal preference, and quality-price ratio. Regardless, as we’ve been told, a score would make an easy reference to represent the quality of a wine. So here you go:
We rate wine using a 5-point system with one decimal place: 0———1———2———3———4———5
1 to 1.9: Poor
2 to 2.9: Below Average
3 to 3.9: Good
4.0 to 4.4: Very Good to Outstanding
4.5 to 5: Exceptional
- For a wine to achieve ≥3.0 / good: It has to be balanced and well-made. It may lack complexity, flavor intensity, and/or length.
- For a wine to achieve ≥4.0 / very good or outstanding: It has to be balanced. It contains some complexity, flavor intensity, and length.
- For a wine to achieve ≥4.5 / exceptional: It has to be balanced, complex, and intense. It also must have a long end-palate and good mouthfeel.
As a reference,
- If a wine receives ≥3.7: We are happy with the wine and would buy it (again).
- If a wine receives ≥4.2: We find that a wine of this score range would usually receive ≥90 points from wine judges/critics.
- If a wine receives ≥4.5: It is an exceptional wine and we’d be raving about it.
We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers.
On occasion, we extend the option of purchasing the wines we review or/and the products we spotlight. Some of these product links are set up through affiliate programs, which means Exotic Wine Travel gets referral credits if you choose to purchase these items via the links we provide. Please note that these recommendations are made based on what we appreciate, and we believe you would find value in them too; we offer no preferential treatment to any product.