Going by the Numbers
Ever wonder how wines get their number points and what they mean?
Ginkgo Forest Winery got two gold, four silver and two bronze medals at this year’s Seattle Wine Awards. Four wines were given point designations.
Gold - 2012 Petit Verdot - 92pts
Gold - 2014 Ginkgo Red - 94pts
Silver - 2016 Carmenere - 90pts
Silver - 2020 Sunset in a Bottle - 90pts
These number points are part of a wine-scoring scale popularized by Wine Spectator and Robert Parker. Seattle Wine Awards uses a modified 200-point scale (which I couldn’t find). The 100-point scale usually means the following:
95 – 100 – Classic: a great wine
90 - 94 – Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
85 - 89 – Very good: a wine with special qualities
80 - 84 – Good: a solid, well-made wine
75 – 79 – Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws – Not recommended
There are several other point scales including a 20-point and a 5-point scale. Personally, I found this 20-point scale to be the most honest and meaningful (with a touch of humor):
20 – Truly exceptional
19 – A humdinger
18 – A cut above superior
17 – Superior
16 – Distinguished
15 – Average
14 – Deadly dull
13 – Borderline faulty or unbalanced
12 – Faulty or unbalanced
Try giving your favorite wines a number designation and see what difference it makes.