What makes a good wine review?
While a scoring system, tasting note and food pairing is useful information for consumers, there is more to wine than this. The narrative behind the wine is far more interesting and useful. In order to truly appreciate a wine and understand it’s scoring, we need to understand the wine maker, how the wine was made, the history behind it and the wine maker. These elements make a more meaningful experience. To us, a wine named after the wine maker’s partner, which incorporates their favourite flavours such as cherries and dark chocolate, changes the wine and drinking it more memorable and sentimental.
One for the Road’s 10 point scoring card
We rate our wines out of 10, top scores being fantastic and anything rated 5 or less isn’t worth it. While many wine critics review wines on a 1-20 or 1-100 scale, we think this makes the distinction between a good wine and a great wine blurred – there really isn’t much of a different between a 92 and a 93 wine.
We do sometimes provide half points such as 7.5, but this is not to confuse readers. This is because the wines could be anywhere between seven or eight – although better than wines which score seven, not quite up to the mark of an eight.
As we want to share the unsung heroes of independent wineries and restaurants, we will rarely share content which is less than seven, as we consider these to be ‘average.’ By spending more time on looking for quality wines and restaurants, we can provide insightful content that informs, educates and inspires readers.
While we want readers to look at our scoring, we’d much rather they focused on the tasting notes, as this justifies the score. We look to ensure our tasting notes are descriptive and efficient, taking multiple characteristics into consideration – the colour, the aroma, the dry or sweetness of the wine, whether it’s bold or light, smooth or tannic. We provide such detail so our readers know exactly what type of wine they’re getting, should they considering purchasing it. We also look to provide food pairings with each wine, so readers know what does and does not complement each wine.