If a Wine Gets a High Score, It Must Be GREAT, Right?

Hello everyone, and welcome to the next installment of Angie Analyzes Wine! Today I want to talk about the misconception about wines that get a high score from wine critics. Many people rely on these scores because they think that every wine that gets a high score must be amazing. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

The brutal truth is there are a LOT of politics involved when it comes to what wines get what scores. I’m not really going to go into the details here, but if you are in the wine industry long enough, you start to see some patterns and become aware of scenarios where scores are “purchased” in one way or another. I’m not saying it happens all the time, but it definitely happens. I know I can get into a lot of trouble saying this, but I’m here to give you honest truth on wine so I’m willing to take the risk!

Now, even if the scoring process is completely unbiased and not influenced by politics, it’s still one person’s opinion and taste. As I’ve talked throughout these videos, wine tasting and appreciating is very individualized. Each taster has his or her own preferences and what they think makes a good bottle of wine. It’s almost like judging people on the way they look! I might like the way Matt Damon looks (okay, there’s no ‘might’ about it, he’s a hunk) but there are plenty of people who would disagree with me (what are they, blind??). How you respond to the way someone looks is more based on YOU than it is on THEM because it’s all about the emotions you feel when you look at someone. It’s the same with wine! One person’s opinion is simply that: one person’s opinion.

The next point I want to address is that wine is alive! It’s a living, breathing thing with a life span and a wine could be going through a mid-life crisis when it’s opened and judged. That doesn’t mean that wine won’t pull out of its misery and be a perfectly happy and delicious wine in five years when you taste it! In fact, a lot of critics are now doing retro tastings of certain wines and changing their scores on wines they previously thought weren’t great as well as the ones they gave top scores to.

Finally, keep in mind that wines go through some major changes after they’re opened. They taste a lot different upon first opening them and six hours later when you’re finishing the last drop. Yes, some people actually DO take six hours to finish a bottle of wine (I am not usually one of those people, but I at least make the attempt to make a bottle last!). Just know that some of the best wine experiences are those that unfold slowly over a long period of time when you can taste the development of the wine. Trust me, you’ll really enjoy it if you give it a try! When a wine is being judged right after it’s opened or even decanted and tried half an hour or an hour later, it’s still being judged in one moment of time and therefore only a fraction of the whole story is being told.

So the next time you pick out a wine based solely on its score, keep in mind that this does not guarantee you’re getting a great wine. There are plenty of outside factors and enjoyment and appreciation of wine always comes down to your personal preferences. So promise me, for the love of wine, that you will no longer judge a bottle by its wine score and only by what you taste in your mouth. Deal?

Thanks so much for joining me! If you liked this video, please hit that ‘like’ button and share it with all your wine-loving friends! And if you’d like to continue the conversation on wine scores, please leave a comment or question below.

See you next time and until then, drink responsibly and enjoyably! Cheers.


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