Wine scoring is a relevant means of determining a given wine’s value, as these scores drive price allocation. In the absence of personal experience, a score coupled to a value index is an objective means of determining the quality of a wine.
Ratings are derived from wine tastings, during which wines of the same cultivar are compared by a judging panel. The panel is not given details regarding the price or producer of the wine, which creates an objective means of rating the product. Professional wine panels use established standards and benchmark wines when judging contenders.
Wine scoring is therefore understood as the process of applying a numerical value to a given wine on a consistent basis. This permits rapid communication of relevant information to both experts and novices. These scores are based on a single competition result.
The index score given for a specific wine represents a cumulative average of the wine’s best results in several tastings over a period of time (with exceptions for new releases). Whilst demand for the best wines remain strong, the notion of finding value in wine purchases appeals to most consumers.
The index system provides a guideline for several considerations including the quality consistency of wines, prices, increases in the range of top wines and patterns that emerge in repeated competitions. The credibility of this system should display the high quality of South African wines. A direct comparison between cultivars should, however, be left to the individual palate. This guide therefore only serves as a recommendation.