Wine ratings are highly controversial to say the least. At their core, the ratz seem like a great idea. They take something that isn’t standardized and provide people with a measurable way of differentiating it from one and other. Formed as a consumer protection utility in the early 70s, the shortcomings of the system have been bemoaned while the virtues of the scale have been defended with fervor.
What was once a way to protect customers has turned into a marketing tool of epic proportions for grape smashers all over the world. Recently, the Journal of Wine Economics (no really … it’s a thang!), published two articles that attempt to further discredit the system. The articles were penned by Robert Hodgson, a retired statistics professor. While these tests are often dismissed by winos, this one seems to have a bit more teeth. A few days ago, The Wall Street Journal published an excellent summary piece on Hodgson’s findings. It’s definitely worth the read.
When you are done with that, you should definitely head over to The 89 Project blog. A popular site in its own right, it is definitely one of my favorite wine blogs. If the name doesn’t already give it away, the purpose of the site is to dispel the notion that 89 point wines deserve to be in the bargain bin. Unfortunately, the posting over there isn’t as rampant as I’d like it to be. Still, definitely worth the check out.