A Guide To Understanding Wine Through Numbers

Unless you are a wine tasting professional, you might need some assistance with the rating of wines and other wine knowledge. You have probably seen a wine enthusiast ratings scale when shopping for wines, but what does it mean, and how should it affect your decision to buy different wines?

Wine Grading System

There are different wine enthusiast ratings scales. Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast both use 100-point scales, while the Decanter has a five-star rating system for wine reviews. Of course, each method has its own standards, but the Wilfred Wong Wine Scale is a good starting point.

95 – 100

This level is the top rating of wine. A wine with this score is often a reserve or a single-vineyard bottling. A wine with a rating of 100 is excellent to the reviewer.


The next step down will have grapes that are close to top-grade. Wines with this grade are rich or carefully balanced. They stand out from other wines.


You typically find commercial wines at 89 and below. At this stage, the wines are fine, but they are lacking in quality. For example, a wine may be slightly too oaky or sugary.


This is the plain range. Wines at this scale are neither bad, nor are they genuinely good. They are okay and have some flavor notes.


The widest range, wines that score here are extraordinarily simple. They often lack any complexity and are often called “jug wines.”

This new wine knowledge may help you when you are considering which wine to purchase, but wine ratings should not be your only guide. The problem with these ratings is that they are subjective. Each reviewer has their personal tastes. If two were to attend a wine tasting OKC, they might give dramatically different marks to the same wine.

The best way to discover what you like is to go on your own ​wine tasting OKC​. Talk to vintners and find out what you enjoy in a wine. Do you prefer bold or delicate flavors? Do you like sweeter or drier wine? There is only one way to know for certain. Contact Discover Oklahoma Wines to learn more!

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