Forget the 100-point system, and the stars/cups system along with it. I find these things useless. For starters, what is the criterion? Is it always simply about subjective notions of what is good? What about value – I’ve had countless wines that were pretty delicious, but would never buy them again at that price point. And what exactly is the difference between an 89-point wine and a 91-point wine, again? Why have five stars when you keep adding halves and quarters?
What we have opted for instead is a system of adjectives that actually tell you something useful about the wine. Each category is explained below.
This is the most price sensitive category. The thinking here on splitting it out between reds and whites is that you generally know which you are in the mood for with respect to day-to-day drinking. This is the wine you choose on a random Tuesday night to go with a nondescript dinner at home. The category concentrates in the $12-15 price range and is dominated by trusty, buy-it-by-the-case selections.
This is the wine that you take to dinner at the boss’s house or a dinner party with friends. It’s less price sensitive than the Everyday category, but unlikely to top $25. These wines are for when you’re feeling special or wanting to make a good impression.
This is the wine that you save for when you’re trying to impress that special date, or simply want to treat yourself. This is the least price sensitive category, though could easily run only $20. It’s home to wines you’ll want to horde for yourself and maybe that friend that really knows wine. Pare these with cheese and let them shine!
Initially we did not intend to include a negative category, but realized quickly that not doing so could easily lead to re-purchasing disappointing bottles. Something got you to buy that first bottle, so why take the risk of making the same mistake twice? Most of these will be a question of value: here is where you will find that $50 bottle that just didn’t live up to the hype. You won’t find $10 bottles here.