Wine bottle with questions. How we Rate Wine. ˆllustration by Margie McLain

Our Process for Reviewing Wines

To understand how we rate wine, it is important to understand how a majority of wine industry publications score their wines, and contrast that with our process.

Scoring wines at Opening a Bottle

Guide to Our Opinion Ratings

Rather than a 100-point or 20-point scale, we simply place wines within a stratified star-rating system. That's because numbers are too definitive and iron-clad for what we want to convey. Wine is dynamic. Its elements fluctuate consistently. Think of these ratings as "tiers of possibility and potential" rather than "scores." Besides, it ain't a math test.

Types of Reviews

There are two types of reviews conducted on Opening a Bottle: a comprehensive review, reserved for wines reviewed by the bottle, and tasting impressions, reserved for wines tasted by the glass.

2017 Domaine Joblot L'Empreinte 1er Cru Givry Rouge ©Kevin Day/Opening a Bottle

And Now, Read Some of Our Reviews

Key to Our Wine Icons

– Practicing Organic
 – Certified Organic
 – Practicing Biodynamic
 – Certified Biodynamic
– Biodiversity
– Polyculture
– Old Vines
– Heroic Viticulture
– Volcanic Soil
– Traditional Winemaking
– Clay Vessel Winemaking
– Family-Operated Winery
– Historic Winery
– Co-operative Winery
– Négociant
– Stay at Winery
– Age-Worthy Wine
– Expensive Wine (+$100)
– Requires Some Searching

Sign Up for Emails
The best way to stay on top of our upcoming virtual tastings, new articles and wine reviews, and subscription opportunities.

Skip to content