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.