James the Wine Guy – My Winery Rating System – James Melendez

I am often asked about what wineries to visit when in one of many wine countries.  And that is an interesting question, a personal question about what one seeks from a winery experience.

It’s like asking a most personal question on many variables; those variables are what do you seek and what do you want from a wine country experience that will elevate your heart and soul.  After all there is no one-size-fits-all with wines or wineries or many other things.

When you hear the word “wine country” there is an almost immediate expectation of an outstanding experience that is emblazoned on your person.  It is almost seeking the magical and to transport you to a place, a time of the utmost in great wines and great feelings.

In my review, I take into account a few of these variables and many more:

–       The wineries specialization

–       Tours offered

–       Wines produced

–       Winery and vineyard grounds

–       Pouring-staff (knowledge, welcoming, selling)

–       Winemaker(s) vision

–       Cost of experience (tasting room fees)

–       Does the winery encourage visiting other wineries (i.e. make recommendations?)

–       Tasting room (gifts, wines)

–       Tasting room collateral material (do you have a tasting notes sheet—so you can recall what you enjoyed)

Is your wine country journey extended or does it come to an abrupt end?  This review process is just that—there is no final word and like vintages of wine tasting rooms and wineries and they will be updated over time.

Like my wine reviews, I use a 10-point scale system.  While 8.0 to 8.9 is good (it should be read as good getting to nearly great).  But ranking in the 9.0 to 10.0 is great to exquisitely great.  This scale is logarithmic and each tenth of a point is harder to get then the next and that there should be fewer as we get to 10.

And now there are many tasting rooms sans winery across the country in urban landscapes.  There is nothing like tasting wine and when you can taste for yourself tasting does become believing and doing so in it’s birthplace also deserves some thoughts as well.



A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews: jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2006 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.  James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

II love wine and business. I am obsessed with the subject, the art, the history, the sciences, organization management, and making things less complex I have been a former national wine marketing manager for a large off-premise food and wine retailer (280+ retail locations in 30 US States); the love for wine taught me the good practice of using the best methodologies to right side a business which unto itself is complex. Further complexity is wine. Wine simple to enjoy and yet profoundly complex because of many factors: Many grape varieties States of wine: sparkling, still and fortified wines Vintage Blends Regions/AVAs/DOCs etc. Many producer styles Many producers Limited supply Limited and often restricted distribution My experience is still a lot of intimidation with respect to wine. Wine means many things to many people; status, fear, success, ‘you’ve arrived’, enjoyment, good times, tradition and even ceremony. I have consulted with wine producers and association. I have spoken on Wine and Social Media, Wine and Video and The Business of Wine in conferences in the United States and Europe. Beer and spirits do have the same dynamics–there are many producers but compared to wine there is no other consumer product like it. I have been writing about since November 2006 on my site and I have over 2,890 wine videos on my YouTube channel talking about general wine subject matter as well as specific educational topics on wine and reviews. I have been a wine judge and have traveled to many wine countries in the new and old world. Wine has taken me to great places. Life is tough for most of us and it is nice to celebrate life with those near and even far. What wine is really about is sitting around a table with family and friends raising your wine glass and saying—to life! I love to write about travel, food, technology and business–please subscribe! Salute, *** A plethora of wine reviews from wines regions around the world. Read more of my wine reviews:jamesthewineguy.wordpress.com © 2020, 2018, 2017, 2010 James P. Melendez – All Rights Reserved.
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3 Responses to James the Wine Guy – My Winery Rating System – James Melendez

  1. Dan Pask says:

    i found your explanation of how to taste a wine very helpful. for some reason, whenever its been told to me before, it’s always flown over my head, but you cleared up that confusion. i’m now looking forward to my next glass. although i’m not ready to swish wine in my mouth, at least not in open company…, i am ready to leave it there and see what happens. 🙂 dan

  2. Miguel says:

    Wine Ratings
    The market lacks the transparency in wine ratings and wine pricing. Wine producers and wine merchants know a great deal about them. On the other hand, the public in general has no way of knowing or determining the ratings and pricing on the spot, while buying wine at the store or over the net.
    As a result, the wine merchant has an upper hand in these transactions and can induce the buyer into buying a low ranking wine or grossly overpriced wine. Often, we see wine bottles prominently for sale at a local store at say, $25 a bottle. A quick check shows that its ‘street price’ is only $8.
    If the wine industry was regulated same way as, say, debt or equity markets, you would see a lot of wine dealers and wine merchants behind bars.
    Well, the industry is not regulated and you and I are taken to the cleaners every day.
    This site is designed to level the playing field. Next time you buy a bottle of wine check WineRank on your cell or PDA for prices and wine ratings.
    Wines.mobile website uses a 100-Point Wine Rating Scale. Ratings, directly or indirectly, are based on chance and probability. There is a continuum of wines from exceptionally good to good, so-so, to just awful and vinegar. A scale that doesn’t incorporate these extremes simply doesn’t do justice to wine. As a matter of fact, even the best and the most expensive wines degrade with time and go to wine hell – the vinegars. Some wines take 100 years to get there, some are born that way.
    To ignore the universe of wine ratings and to focus only on the upper part of the rating scheme is just plain wrong.
    Wines.mobile is attempting to right the wrong. We give you the real prices. And we give you a true 100-Point Wine Ratings Scale.
    96-100 – Extraordinary; a classic wine
    91-95 — Outstanding; superior wine
    81-90 — Very good to terrific; a great wine
    71-80 — Good to very good; wine with special qualities
    61-70 – Slightly above average to good; wine with various degrees of flavor
    51-60 — Average; little distinction beyond being soundly made
    41-50 — Below average; probably drinkable. This is what French call ‘vin de merde” — politely put … by a prominent French wine connoisseur, François Mauss’ when they talk about wines destined for the USA.
    31-40 — Poor; probably drinkable. May have a slight vinegary edge & vinegary flavors.
    21-30 — Undrinkable, made of grapes, rotten apples or other fruits. Loved by winos on a low budget
    11-20 – Horrible & awful; undrinkable, not recommended
    1-10 – Vinegars, good and bad. Don’t drink!
    While ratings may influence your decision, the ultimate judgment is yours. It’s important to remember that everyone has a different palate and different preferences, so basing purchases on ratings may not garner the perfect wine match for your tastes.
    Wines.mobile was introduced to level the playing field. We also introduced the Wine Scales that make sense to everybody who ever had to deal with a 100 point scale. Zero being an absolute nothing and 100 is a perfect score! The universe of wines is rated between these two numbers. The average quality wine would be somewhere around 50. It’s interesting to note that a number of wine rating services in the USA use a 100-point scale where an average wine would be anywhere from 70 to 80! So, who’s fooling whom?
    And so, we all want to buy the best wine for the lowest price, right? But how can you tell good wine from bad? What’s the yardstick?
    The great wines have all the media attention, great displays and great stories. And yet, there is a whole world of average, below average and just awful wines.

    How low can you go?
    Well, quite low. We’ve seen wines that only nominally can be called wines. We tasted Russian wines made from apples. Very bad. Slightly above vinegar. But not by much!

    And we tasted Algerian red wine, which was even worse. Apparently, Algeria produces a huge amount of red wine for export. But since most of their winemakers are Muslim they do not taste their own products! They just blindly follow the recipe. And to make things worse, Algerians are using oil tankers for the oversees shipping. They claim to use a strong chemical to clean the oil tanks. Good luck there!

    Many East European countries encourage production of the low-quality wines and vodkas to keep the folks home happy.
    In the 1970s and 1980s, before Russia emerged as a major oil producer, its wine and liquor industry generated a quarter of the GNP!
    In Armenia and Georgia winemaking has ancient roots going back 2,000 to 3,000 years. They produce amazingly good wines which rarely reach our stores.
    The worldwide movement of wine created a situation where you, the buyer, can find Austrian, Australian, South African, Italian, French, California, German, Israeli, Hungarian, Romanian, etc, wine at your local wine store!
    But at the same time millions of gallons of generic and unbranded wine travels to be mixed, processed and bottled under some legitimate-looking labels.
    And how high can you go? Well, this is where you should ignore the marketing pros and use statistically generated ratings.
    The number of different wines in circulation is astonishingly high. The conservative estimate is 100,000. On the other hand a number of online wine cellars claim that it approaches 1 million!
    Use Wines.mobile to figure out the best deal. We also would like your feedback.
    Enjoy wine and save a buck!


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