The Ratings Game

Scanning wine lists or examining labels in the hopes of remembering which ones you’ve had and if you liked them can prove an exhausting, frustrating endeavor. The next time you open a bottle of wine, take just a minute to register what wine you’re drinking and what you think of it. Whether you keep receipts or save labels, your wine catalog is only as helpful as you make it. Different ratings systems work for various reasons, and you should develop a rating guide that makes sense for your lifestyle.

Grades
Use letters, points, stars, whatever. Whether you’re a teacher accustomed to an A to F grading scale or just someone who likes the five-star scale, this method is easy to understand and utilize. You won’t buy that D+ dud again, but you will seek out that B+ ten-dollar beauty.

Code Language
Develop abbreviations that work for you, such as S for Save/Special Occasion, E for Everyday, F for must have with Food. That eight-dollar Spanish steal may be an ideal table wine (E) but inappropriate for your upcoming anniversary (S).

Other Passion
For the movie lover, this may mean comparing wines to your favorite flicks: The Godfather for that powerful Italian that stayed with you for days; The Big Chill for that comforting wine you shared with your best friends. Bibliophiles, sports fanatics, the possibilities are endless. Keeping a record of what you like and why will only help you enjoy your wine more.

Molly Moran worked for several years in the restaurant industry and now is a wine peddler at Steve’s Wine Market.

Madison Magazine - June 2007
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