Wine Spectator Point System

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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby James Dietz » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:55 pm

I've always liked the DNPIM rating.... do not put in mouth... :D
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby DebA » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:01 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:...Having said that, the point system is a terrible way to judge wine. But don't take it from me. The following is excerpted from Adam Gopnik's wonderful "Through A Glass Darkly: What We Talk About When We Talk About Wine," which appeared in The New Yorker magazine. You'll find a link to the whole article on the "Welcome" page of my website, which is listed in my signature below:

"The debate is not about whether the numbers are right but whether it is right to have numbers. Everyone agrees that Parker is, on his own terms, a completely honest scorer; but by scoring he intends to serve the consumer, and makes the wine drinker into one.

What consumers want is reliable beverage products, and, once wine is a reliable beverage product, it isn’t quite wine.

Demanding absolute excellence on an unchanging universal numerical scale is not, after all, our usual measure of sensual engagement. A man who makes love to fifty-some women and then publishes a list in which each one gets a numerical grade would not be called a lady’s man. He would be called a cad. And that, more or less, is how a good many Frenchmen think of Parker: they don’t doubt his credentials; they question his character. A real man likes moles and frailties; a real man marries his wine, as he marries his wife, and sees her through the thin spots. Being impatient with the tannins in a Margaux is like being impatient with the lines on your wife’s face. They are what makes it a marriage rather than a paid assignation."


The point that impresses me most is that wine that is regular enough in character, vintage after vintage, to be a consumer product is, by definition, not exactly wine. Great wines--good wines--are not consumer products. They don't come with a warranty. They are the product of nature and the winemaker's skills, and these can and will vary greatly from vintage to vintage. That is why, for example, I never have anything to say--good or bad--about something like Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Not to pick on them in particular, but the stuff is the same all the time, and the good folks at Hess go to great lengths to make sure that is so. So there is no more point in me expending energy to review the wine than there is in me reviewing a jug of Sealtest milk: It's a commodity, and by definition always the same, so why should I bother?...

___________________________
Dave, that was excellent! For me, Gopnik could not have articulated the essence of this topic more succinctly. I must read his book; thank you for the reference! His analogy of equating the value of wine scores to marriage is particularly wonderful, not because of my female perspective, but because we are all unique and valuable in our own right, just as each bottle of wine produced is a gift from the vine. The maturity in being able to assess the beauty and value of others is always best comprehended by first looking in the mirror, seeing and understanding our own many imperfections and being grateful for the gift of appreciation we see in the eyes of someone else for our life. :cool:
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Andrew Shults » Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:59 pm

My personal rating system needs only three categories:
1. Buy this again.
2. Buy again if it's on sale and/or I can't find anything better.
3. Not worth buying again.
As I get more and more adept at selecting wines that suit my palate, I may need to subdivide "Buy this again" to add a "Buy this again!!!" category. I suppose "Not worth buying again" could be subdivided into "Not the wine for me" and "Not the wine for anyone."

I think further attempts at quantitative precision are illusions. However, since I've started using cellartracker, I've been giving marks on the 100 point scale so that my rating can factor into the community average. I certainly don't agonize whether a wine is an 87 or 89.
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:09 pm

There is one system you might want to have a go at - ideally if blind tasting, or just tasting a wine you don't know how much it costed.

The rating is the amount of dollars (or whatever your local currency is), you'd happily pay for the wine. Sort of concentrates the mind, but if nothing else, good fun at wine tastings!

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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Mike B. » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:00 pm

For me, wine reviews have their place. Like any other review, be it of a movie, book or music, I like to read it after the fact to compare my impressions with those of someone else. Much like what happens on this forum, I view it as a dialogue.

And, no matter how much the reviewer tries to be objective, to some extent their conclusions will be based on their personal tastes and experiences.

That said, I don't have a very high opinion of the Wine Spectator. It seems to be more for people who purchase wine as an "investment" rather than people who just love wine.

My wife took this photo when we visited Napa earlier this year. I think the title she gave it says it all: "There goes the neighbourhood."

<img src="http://static.flickr.com/101/253513231_0a6ee5ad32.jpg" width="500" height="329" alt="There goes the neighbourhood">
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Thomas » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:49 pm

In my view, a long time ago WS shifted from a wine magazine to a lifestyle magazine. I don't fault them for it; as a writer, I know full well what it takes for magazines to stay alive and profitable: entertainment, often at the expense of information.
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Otto » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:52 pm

Mike B. wrote:<img src="http://static.flickr.com/101/253513231_0a6ee5ad32.jpg" width="500" height="329" alt="There goes the neighbourhood">


The picture looks squeaky clean. Do they like squeaky clean wines also?
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:29 pm

I like the use of fencing - presumably to keep the "points whores" out. :twisted:

I have a horrible feeling it will end up being a tourist attraction in it's own right, complete with guided tours "...and this is Bob's spittoon, ... and this is where Bob washes his hands".

Sorry to be a cynic :oops:

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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby James Dietz » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:05 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:I like the use of fencing - presumably to keep the "points whores" out. :twisted:

I have a horrible feeling it will end up being a tourist attraction in it's own right, complete with guided tours "...and this is Bob's spittoon, ... and this is where Bob washes his hands".

Sorry to be a cynic :oops:

regards

Ian


Bob??
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:20 pm

James Dietz wrote:
Bob??
Robert Parker - I think I've just got my wine mags mixed up :oops:
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby James Dietz » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:53 pm

Indeed..... 8)
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Eric Ifune » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:22 pm

. as has been pointed out, the WS uses a panel for tasting and comes up with an average, where as the WA does not....


I could be wrong, but I don't think WS uses a panel approach in most cases. Maybe they did in the past, but now I'm pretty sure that most of the scores and notes in the back of each issue identify a single taster/note-writer. At least that makes calibration a bit easier.


Indeed. I don't want to look like I'm supporting WS, although I do read it; but they haven't used panel tastings in years. The initials of the taster follows each note.
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Carlo » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:04 am

Tastes differ for everyone.
I just gave a reserve wine that my winery had made with
Robert Parkers blessing of 90 points, to a friend and they said, it had
NO fruit.
When Parker tastes it
it`s all about the fruit......................WTF !!
when I taste it,
it`s all about the vineyard and fruit.
To each its own.
broke my heart
alot of sweat and hard work went into that wine and my friend didn` t
like it.............................sometimes i hate winemakeing !
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby James Dietz » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:16 am

I love broccoli.. can you believe there are people who don't?? so... yeah.. different people have different likes... but what is cool, Carlo, is that you seem to value your friend's opinion way more that RMP's!!!
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Carlo » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:22 am

I get love and compassion from my friend

Parker makes us sell out
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby James Dietz » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:33 am

Carlo wrote:I get love and compassion from my friend

Parker makes us sell out


Just guessing, but those are both good things, right???? 8)
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Victorwine » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:59 am

IMO I really don’t think it matters what type of scoring system one uses. During the evaluation one is judging basically the same thing- color and appearance, aroma and bouquet, taste and texture, aftertaste, and overall impression. Depending upon how much criteria is evaluated will determine how much weight each criteria carries. Some system besides just looking at taste and texture might also include things like balance, focus, complexity, alcohol, acidity, degree of sweetness, tannin (for red wines), bubbles (size, number, and how long they exist for sparkling wines) etc. (Now the way one interprets or perceives what one is experiences is another matter). The guide-lines for the various scoring system are basically the same:
Extraordinary Wine
Excellent Wine
Good
Commercially Acceptable
Deficient
Poor and objectionable
An Extraordinary wine in the 100 point scale should be given a compatible score in the star and UC Davis scale. One should be able to use conversion equations to get from one scale to another, for example: (UC Davis Score X 2.5) + 50 = 100 point Score ( I’m sure there’s a mathematically wizard out there who can come up with a formula to convert the star rating system to the UC Davis or 100 point system).
Does it really matter if one judge scores a wine in the middle or low excellent category, and another scores it in the high or middle good category? This is basically where most of the commercially available wines lie today, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a lot of wines receive almost he same score.

The Score itself only has meaning to the person who gave the score.

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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby RonicaJM » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:40 pm

Andrew Shults wrote:My personal rating system needs only three categories:
1. Buy this again.
2. Buy again if it's on sale and/or I can't find anything better.
3. Not worth buying again.
As I get more and more adept at selecting wines that suit my palate, I may need to subdivide "Buy this again" to add a "Buy this again!!!" category. I suppose "Not worth buying again" could be subdivided into "Not the wine for me" and "Not the wine for anyone."


This leads to an interesting dilemma I find myself in. There are wines that I like and definitely want to buy again. But I feel like I have to get something different everytime b/c there might be something out there I like better. And there is sooooo much to try.

So, I'm thinking about going 50/50. 50% of what I buy will be new and 50% will be wine I know I like.
In vino veritas...
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:53 pm

RonicaJM wrote:This leads to an interesting dilemma I find myself in. There are wines that I like and definitely want to buy again. But I feel like I have to get something different everytime b/c there might be something out there I like better. And there is sooooo much to try.

So, I'm thinking about going 50/50. 50% of what I buy will be new and 50% will be wine I know I like.


a common dilemna and I think you should go with your instincts. Some options though

1. Ensure you've got a few old favourites in the stash and ready to drink at any point in time. Some nights are made for comfort food and comfort wine.

2. Always have a region or two you're "getting into" i.e. reading about and tasting the wines (maybe even cook a few regional dishes to go with it!). Thus maybe California is well-known to you and Northern Italy and Washington State are both getting your attention. One of the advantages of this approach, is you might want to buy a dozen wines from a regional specialist and there can sometimes be good deals or discounts in doing this.

3. To test out a new region, use organised (themed) tastings to give a head start on a region.

I guess it depends on your personality - I'm happy to have loads of single bottles around that I've seen just a tasting note on or just thought I fancied trying. I enjoy the sampling aspect as I'm quite focussed on the hobby at the moment. Sometime down the line, other things may interest me and I'll probably fall back on my favourites a little more. There is an immense amount of wine out there, so any sampling by me won't even scratch the surface of what's available.

regards

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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Isaac » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:51 pm

Deborah Ackerman wrote:Dave, that was excellent! For me, Gopnik could not have articulated the essence of this topic more succinctly. I must read his book; thank you for the reference! His analogy of equating the value of wine scores to marriage is particularly wonderful, not because of my female perspective, but because we are all unique and valuable in our own right, just as each bottle of wine produced is a gift from the vine. The maturity in being able to assess the beauty and value of others is always best comprehended by first looking in the mirror, seeing and understanding our own many imperfections and being grateful for the gift of appreciation we see in the eyes of someone else for our life. :cool:
Maybe, but I'll be damned before I'll commit to only one wine for the rest of my life!
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Re: Wine Spectator Point System

Postby Isaac » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:55 pm

RonicaJM wrote:This leads to an interesting dilemma I find myself in. There are wines that I like and definitely want to buy again. But I feel like I have to get something different everytime b/c there might be something out there I like better. And there is sooooo much to try.

So, I'm thinking about going 50/50. 50% of what I buy will be new and 50% will be wine I know I like.
And this is both the joy and sorrow of the age. So many choices!

Sometimes, I buy wine I tried and liked, then never get back to it. I suppose that's how cellars get so full.
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