The WineBarker rates wines on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, poor and awful. Think school grades A, B, C, D and F.

Compared to a 100-point wine scale, WineBark ratings might line up with an excellent wine equating to 95-plus points, very good as 90-94 points, good as 85-89, poor as 80-84 and awful as any wine below 80 points.

Admittedly, the range is broad, and the lines can be fuzzy. However, the WineBarker asks, are there really significantly discernible differences in wines within one or two points, even three, of 100-point scales?

Prices of wines are not considered, nor are visual qualities of color and clarity. Those matter, but the WineBarker believes that finances and presentation are secondary to aroma and taste. And wine is more complex than a score, so ratings are provided as coda, offered last rather than up front.

Lastly, since most of the wines reviewed were selected for enjoyment rather than any attempt to reflect the marketplace, the scores tend to be in the upper ranges. Some have been provided by wineries or retailers, and those instances are noted within the review. The WineBarker’s preferences are inherent in the selection process, and his ability to find wines to his liking leads to a predominance of very good and excellent scores.

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