As my wines bubble through malolactic fermentation, my mind is bubbling away over wine ratings. In particular, I’m thinking about Robert Parker’s 100-point rating system and its influence over American wine tastes (and prices).
Just like Mr. Parker’s system, we tend to assign scores linearly, hierarchically in all aspects of life: Reports are graded from 0-100%, essays from F to A, movies from one to five stars. The problem is, our personal tastes, as diverse as the number of wines on the market, cannot fit into one linear rating system that will please us all.
Wouldn’t it, then, be more useful, more empowering, and more personal if instead of scoring from good to bad or low to high, we placed each wine on a spectrum of un-rated characteristics?
I’m developing just such a system — a way to categorize wines based on certain taste factors — so that we can easily visually identify which ones fit into our personal preference profiles.
So before I can squeeze another alliteration into this posting, tell me what you think would be the most useful judging criteria for this new wine rating system. In your colloquial, non-wine snob terms, how would you describe the wines you like best?