Wine Scores

Those little colored tags scattered across wine shop shelves everywhere carry a powerful message. 88. 92. 95! The scores used to rate wines by various publications can drive the demand and price of wine.

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Quality Rating Scale

  • Stellar (95-100) – A rare and unforgettable wine of astounding quality.
  • Highly Recommended (90-94) – Very high quality. A special, well-made wine.
  • Recommended (86-89) – Good to very good quality. Perfect for everyday drinking.
  • Not Too Shabby (80-85) – If you see this wine on sale, it’s worth a try.
  • Pass (0-79) – There are too many other fish in the sea, or rather too many other wines on the shelves.

Value Rating Scale

Note – Prior to 6/24/12, wines retailing for $20.00 or under were rated on a 0-20 scale and wines retailing for over $20.00 were rated as either Stellar, Highly Recommended, Recommended, Not Too Shabby, or Pass. As of 6/24/12, all wines will be rated as to their quality and to their value on the above rating scale.

  • 5/5 Exceptional Value
  • 4/5 Very Well-Priced
  • 3/5 Well-Priced
  • 2/5 Slightly Overpriced
  • 1/5 Overpriced


Zinfandel

Read All I am Saying is Give Zin a Chance

It was no coincidence that the first featured $20 Below wines were Zinfandels. Zins represent some of the best value wines that can be found for under $20. Also, the versatility of zin is astonishing. Wines can range from intensely fruity to subtle and food-friendly to rustic, earthy, and spicy. Zin is truly an underdog varietal. Reds such […]


The Wine Bible

Read Highly Recommended Wine Books

The most important and the most enjoyable component of building a wine education is tasting a large variety of wines and developing your palate. If you want to truly broaden your wine knowledge, however, you can’t just stop there. The books listed below have had a profound impact on my understanding and appreciation of wine and I […]


$20 Below

$20 Below: Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills Cab and Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, 2009 Price: Suggested retail is $15.00 (although I’ve often seen this wine on sale from $11.00 – $13.00) Impressions: Aroma of black currant, with a bit of smoke and pencil shavings. Blackberry and oak is plentiful in the mouth. Drinks like a cab 2x to 3x the price and definitely […]

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