September 4, 2015

MIGHT HELP IF THE FOLKS SCORING COULD TASTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM:

What's the Point of Scoring Wines? (WILL LYONS, Sept. 4, 2015, WSJ)

I can't help feeling that at the heart of this debate is an element of self-justification. As Caspar Bowes, a British wine merchant with a self-described "visceral hatred of scoring wine," says, "it is people pretending that they are doing something scientific when they are not."

There are several different systems for scoring wine. The most famous is the 100-point scale, widely credited to Robert Parker, which is used by the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines. This system looks at the color, bouquet and taste. Each wine is awarded a base score of 50 for being created in the first place. On top of this, points are added--up to five for the color, 15 for the bouquet, and 20 for the palate and texture, and another 10 for the overall quality and potential for development. You could argue it is actually a 15-point scale, as so few wines score under the 85 mark.

The second most common scoring mechanism is the 20-point scale used by the University of California, Davis, recognized as the finest wine university outside France, and several British critics. There is also a five-star scale adopted by Decanter magazine, and a three-star scale, or three wineglasses, the "Tre Bicchieri" used by Italy's premier wine guide, the Gambero Rosso.

So what is the point of scoring? Robert Parker told me that he began doing it as a reaction to too many wine merchants hedging their bets. "I just thought by using the 100-point scale it is a stake in the ground, the ultimate accountability," he said when I spoke with him last year.

Perhaps it would help if there could be more clarity in the scores. 

The scores are imaginary, not a reflection of quality.
Posted by at September 4, 2015 5:46 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« TAX WHAT YOU DON'T WANT, NOT WHAT YOU DO: | Main | THE RACE TO MEDIOCRITY: »