Points: they’re possibly the most polarizing thing about wine. While many critics use the 100 point scale and many shops sell wines with flaps of paper touting the point scores, there is a backlash against points. A growing number of retailers favor staff-written “shelf-talkers” and many wine reviewing web sites–including this one–don’t use point scores in reviewing wines choosing instead the old-fashioned form of communication known as words.
While I understand what makes points popular and have to a certain extent made my peace with them, I still find them to impart a false sense of precision and objectivity while totally neglect the consuming context (e.g. “does this wine go with a my grilled asparagus?”). Moreover, once everyone starts rating wines out of 100, whom do you believe when two reviewers give the same wine different scores? I just found something that makes me want to reach for the dump bucket: Justwinepoints.com.
This apparently new web site only gives wines a point score out of 100. No words. No mention of who is the taster handing out the points. Just wine points because as their tag line reads, “because nothing else matters.” And, oh, they don’t mind sticking the producer for “added value” by charging to have a label image next to their points.
Surely this is so new and so decontextualized that nobody will care, right? Wrong. I just got an email blast from Sam’s Wine in Chicago (map it) touting the introductory vintage of a $15 sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. They turn to justwinepoints.com for the score: 99 points. But they had to add the words “lovely, rich and crisp.”
Let me give justwinepoints a review they’ll understand: 62. And the only reason that’s above failing is so that they don’t came and see me during office hours.
Related: “Are wine ratings running out of gas?” [NYT]