Monday, June 15, 2009

Guest Blogger: A New Wine Rating System

(Tom Briggs of Fort Worth, Texas, sent us a note about his wine experiences. We enjoyed his rating system so much we decided to let Tom explain it here.)

I wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed reading AMealWithoutWine for some time now. I really like its perspective.

We rate every wine we drink on what I call an “X” scale: That is, a wine that’s worth what we paid for it gets a 1X, something worth triple what we paid gets a 3X, and so on. We try to hit at least a 2X or 3X, even though most of what’s out there – especially from California – usually doesn’t even make it up to 1X. As AMealWithoutWine has indirectly pointed out, Washington state has some real finds. Covey Run’s basic Riesling, for example, generally gets a 2.5X or a 3X (we pay $9, but it’s better than a lot of Rieslings in the mid $20s), as does the Ste. Michelle, and they’re generally repeatable and consistent from year to year.

The main problem we run into is repeatability: Often when we find a great value wine, it’s either completely gone the next time we shop for it, or the next vintage year isn’t as good. Our record-breaking find was a Monterra Monterey County Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, which we rated at an eye-popping 10X: We paid $4 but we thought it was worth $40. (It was fully mature, with a fair amount of sediment and a decent amount of real aged Grand-Cru taste.) Of course that’s gone forever and we only managed to buy 8 cases. The Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 was a real find at 4X (we paid only $6), but the 2005 wasn’t anywhere close to as good. That’s the story of our wine life – trying to find the best quality for the price.